Reducing chronic diseases Critical to Economic Recovery and Health Reform

According to the 2009 Almanac of Chronic Disease, released by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), 45% of Americans have at least one chronic condition, while 26% have multiple chronic conditions. Moreover, the growing prevalence of chronic diseases accounted for about two-thirds of health care spending increases between 1987 and 2002.


The Almanac is a resource that outlines the role that preventing and reducing chronic diseases can have on health care reform, economic stability and details the prevalence and repercussions of chronic diseases, with information drawn from peer-reviewed studies and health care expert commentary. The Almanac is co-sponsored by the American Academy of Nursing, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others.


Highlights from the Almanac includes:

During 2007, the U.S. spent an estimated $1.7 trillion treating patients with one or more chronic conditions - the equivalent of 34 million annual salaries of $50,000.

Since the mid-1980s, about two-thirds of the increase in spending on health care in the United States is linked to the rise in the prevalence of treated chronic diseases; about one-third is linked to the doubling of obesity rates.

Chronic disease and treatment rates are higher in the United States than in other industrialized nations, and may add as much as $100 to $150 billion in treatment costs to U.S. health spending.


Click here for a Press Release, and click here for an Executive Summary.


(SOURCES: Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease,, accessed May 26, 2009; The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, May 18, 2009)