Thursday, January 08, 2009

Solutions For Chronic Diseases

(NAPSI)-Through prevention, early diagnosis and better disease management-combined with innovative medical research-lives can be saved and health care costs can be lowered.

That's just as well, because according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic conditions are now responsible for 70 percent of all deaths and 75 percent of health care spending in America.

What's more, 80 million Americans now suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease. Five thousand Americans visit an emergency room every day as a result of asthma. And every 72 seconds, another American develops Alzheimer's disease.

Teenage obesity has tripled in the last 20 years and one of every three children is predicted to develop diabetes. These children are likely to experience a lifetime of serious health issues associated with these conditions.

The good news is, there's a broad and growing consensus among America's pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, health care providers, patient advocates, policymakers, community groups and business and labor leaders that addressing the problem of chronic diseases is a critical part of any successful effort to reform health care in America and reduce health care costs.

For example, pharmaceutical research companies are working on a wide array of new and better treatments, including 277 new medicines to fight heart disease and stroke-the leading cause of death in America. In addition, there are now in development over 750 new medicines to treat cancer, more than 200 to treat conditions affecting children and 900 to help treat and prevent diseases affecting the elderly.

Working together, Americans can create better incentives and rewards for people to both stay healthy and seek early medical intervention when needed. We can also do a better job of teaching children how important eating right and exercise are to a lifetime of good health, and find ways to help seniors stay physically and mentally active.

To learn more about efforts to reduce the toll and cost of chronic diseases, visit the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease at www.fightchronicdisease.org/. For more information on new medicines being developed by America's pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, visit www.PhRMA.org. And for an overview of chronic disease prevention and health promotion, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/overview.htm#2.

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