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Article
February 5, 1997

The High Cost of Lost Opportunities for Prevention-Reply

Author Affiliations

Dorothy Rice
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Menlo Park, Calif

JAMA. 1997;277(5):376. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540290028023
Abstract

In Reply.  —As indicated by Dr Havas, significant savings can be gained through primary prevention of chronic disease. While it seemed implicit to us, the message of prevention always bears reinforcing. In addition, it is important to recognize another large source of potential savings—both in dollars and human suffering—from the prevention of secondary conditions. Secondary conditions are diseases, impairments, functional limitations, or additional disabilities that are caused by (ie, occur as a result of) another condition.1 Crucially important to preventing these sequelae is a health care system that ensures continuity of care, access to assistive technology and resources, and health education—fundamental elements that enable individuals to manage their own health care effectively and prevent further illness and disability. It was our hope that, by measuring the total prevalence and costs of chronic conditions as a whole, the need for both primary prevention of chronic conditions and the secondary prevention of disability

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