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Vital Directions from the National Academy of Medicine
October 25, 2016

Chronic Disease PreventionTobacco Avoidance, Physical Activity, and Nutrition for a Healthy Start

Author Affiliations
  • 1George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • 2American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 3Brown School and School of Medicine, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri
JAMA. 2016;316(16):1645-1646. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.14370

Chronic diseases account for 7 of 10 deaths in the United States,1 and treatment of these diseases accounts for more than 85% of US health costs, including those incurring exceptional treatment costs. About half of health expenditures in the United States are accounted for by 5% of patients, yet many chronic conditions are preventable. Screening, diagnosis, and early intervention—secondary prevention—can help limit the progression of conditions that might later lead to debilitating diseases that require costly care. New potential preventive services, such as immunizations, screening tests, and chemoprophylaxis, are regularly identified and are subject to ongoing assessments by the US Preventive Services Task Force.

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