Avoiding chronic conditions saves money, increases longevity, study finds

Share this article:

Preventing chronic conditions could both save significant amounts of money and add healthy years to the lives of the elderly, according to a new report.

Chronic conditions include diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Researchers followed a national cohort of adults aged 51 to 52 years and evaluated their projected medical costs into old age based on preventing chronic conditions. Preventing diabetes would save $34,483; preventing high blood pressure would save $13,702; preventing obesity would save $7,168 according to the report. One perhaps counterintuitive finding showed that quitting smoking was associated with an average $15,959 increase in lifetime medical costs. Chronic conditions affect up to 90% of seniors.

These preventive measures add time to a person's life as well, researchers found. Preventing obesity would add 0.85 years, preventing high blood pressure would add 2.05 years, preventing diabetes would add 3.17 years and quitting smoking would add 3.44 years. Factoring in the added longevity, researchers say preventing these chronic conditions would be associated with little or no additional lifetime medical spending. The report appears in the Sept. 17 online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.


Share this article:

More in News

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause disastrous care transitions, expert warns

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause ...

What may appear to be minor administrative problems in a nursing home - a fax machine locked away at night or no one designated to copy paperwork - can cause ...

Long-term care facilities approach 80% worker flu vaccination rate after handing power ...

Fourteen long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania dramatically increased their staff flu vaccination rate by having a regional pharmacy take over the process, according to a report issued Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR).

RACs were 'most improved' healthcare auditors for getting back money in 2013, ...

Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors dramatically stepped up their overpayment recoveries last year, returning nearly $487 million more to the government than they did in 2012, according to a new report from a federal watchdog agency.