For Immediate Release
Health Economists from Across the U.S. Urge Presidential Candidates to Take on Chronic Disease and #Fight4Health
Harmonizing population and economic health critical for next administration
Washington, D.C. (March 8, 2016) The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) continued its efforts today calling on our nation’s political leaders and presidential hopefuls to address the number one cause of death, disability and ever increasing health spending in America: chronic disease. Highlighting the increasingly involved relationship between population and economic health in the U.S. and with the support of nearly 100 well-respected health economists from across the country, PFCD will be presenting a letter to each of the presidential candidates challenging them to reset the agenda and generate American wealth by promoting Americans’ health. This letter will run as a full page advertisement in leading newspapers across the country.
The impact of chronic disease is far and wide, affecting every single American in some way. Seven out of ten American deaths are due to chronic diseases. Nearly one in two working age adults age 45 to 64 have more than one chronic condition. Almost half of U.S. adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes – more than double the number just thirty years ago, and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among American children age 19 and younger grew by 30 percent from 2001-2009.
Chronic illnesses, including behavioral health conditions, directly affect the U.S. economy through lost productivity, missed work days, disability, and premature death. Cardiovascular disease alone was projected to cost America $216 billion in lost productivity in 2015; if current trends continue, this is projected to increase to $304 billion per year by 2030.
“The impact of chronic disease throughout today’s society is immense and the time to address it is far overdue. One of the most important priorities of the next president also presents an opportunity to harness a problem that for too long now has plagued not just our health care system but equally as much, our economy,” said Ken Thorpe, PFCD Chairman. “Reducing mortality from heart disease or cancer by just one percent is worth as much as $628 billion dollars – over 3.5 percent of annual GDP. Clearly the economic benefits to improving health are many.”
PFCD and its partners will continue in their efforts to challenge, educate and mobilize policymakers, presidential candidates especially, and all stakeholders in both the public and private sectors in order to elevate chronic disease prevention and advocate for policies to implement better health management. In addition to rallying the support of well-respected voices in the health economics and policy communities around the importance of addressing chronic disease, the coalition will continue encouraging Americans to have their voice heard by voting for better health in the elections.
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is an international coalition of hundreds of patient, provider, community, business and labor groups, and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability and rising health care costs: chronic disease. Learn more by visiting www.FightChronicDisease.org.