The High Cost of Chronic Diseases

Chronic disease is a difficult challenge for afflicted individuals, and because of its pervasiveness it has also become a significant problem for the nation, causing 70% of U.S. deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chronic health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and kidney disease account for more than 75% of the nation’s $2.7 trillion in annual spending for medical care, says Ursula Bauer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A long list of burdens contributes to the cost of chronic illness in America, says Bauer, who is director of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

“They make it difficult for us to age in place in our homes and communities,” she says. “They strain our families and our physical care systems. … They take a toll on our employers and businesses, who are often shouldering the costs of these chronic diseases.”

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