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The Burden of Chronic Disease: The Future is Prevention : Introduction to Dr. James Marks' presentation, “The Burden of Chronic Disease and the Future of Public Health”

Authors
Journal
Preventing Chronic Disease
1545-1151
Publisher
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Essay
Disciplines
  • Medicine
  • Political Science

Abstract

Preventing Chronic Disease VOLUME 1: NO. 2 APRIL 2004 Suggested citation for this article: Hardy GE Jr. The bur- den of chronic disease: the future is prevention. Introduction to Dr. James Marks' presentation, The Burden of Chronic Disease and the Future of Public Health. Prev Chronic Dis [serial online] 2004 April [date cited]. Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/ pcd/issues/2004/apr/04_0006.htm. Chronic diseases impose an enormous financial andsocietal burden on the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases today account for 70% of the deaths of all Americans and 75% of this country’s annual health care costs. Unless we take steps now to deal effectively with chronic diseases, our nation is headed for a serious financial and quality-of-life crisis. Among the contribut- ing factors to this crisis are the aging of our population; increases in obesity, particularly among adolescents; and the tragedy of tobacco addiction. No one speaks with more passion, conviction, and vision about the need to address this pending crisis than Dr. James Marks, director of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. As he demonstrates so clearly in his presentation, "The Burden of Chronic Disease and the Future of Public Health," public health prevention programs can, with real societal and political will, substantially reduce or even prevent the burden of many major chronic disease conditions. His presentation makes a strong case for moving from a palliative medical model to a prevention-based approach. He argues most persuasively that preventing chronic diseases can provide Americans with a better quality of life, reduce unnecessary medical costs and lost productivity, and strengthen our national economy. Funding for research and medical advances alone will alleviate neither the cost nor the suffering of individuals faced with a chronic disease. Without concomitant investments in public health prevent

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