An Empirical Study of Chronic Diseases in the United States

A Visual Analytics Approach to Public Health 

Below you will find some pieces from the article published by the international Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

  • -Chronic diseases are among the most prevalent and costly health conditions in the United States. Nearly half (approximately 45%, or 133 million) of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease.
  • -According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the U.S. alone, chronic diseases account for nearly 75 percent of aggregate healthcare spending, or an estimated $5300 per person annually. In terms of public insurance, treatment of chronic diseases comprises an even larger proportion of spending: 96 cents per dollar for Medicare and 83 cents per dollar for Medicaid.
  • -More than two thirds of all deaths are caused by one or more of these five chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. Additional statistics are quite stark: chronic diseases are responsible for seven out of 10 deaths in the U.S., killing more than 1.7 million Americans each year; and more than 75% of the $2 trillion spent on public and private healthcare in 2005 went toward chronic diseases.
  • -Today one in four U.S. adults have two or more chronic conditions, while more than half of older adults have three or more chronic conditions.
  • -A recent Milken Institute analysis determined that treatment of the seven most common chronic diseases coupled with productivity losses will cost the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion dollars annually.
  • -The same Milken analysis estimates that modest reductions in unhealthy behaviors could prevent or delay 40 million cases of chronic illness per year.

Read the full article here.

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