New report details devastating toll of chronic conditions on economy, healthcare system

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The U.S. spent $1.7 trillion treating patients with chronic conditions in 2007—the equivalent of 34 million annual salaries of $50,000, according to the second annual Almanac of Chronic Disease, which was released Thursday.

The report comes from the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) a coalition of patients, providers and physicians. Among the group's findings: chronic disease treatments in the U.S. may add up to $150 billion in unnecessary healthcare spending; chronic care treatments are linked to nearly two-thirds of healthcare spending increases since the mid-1980's; chronic disease accounts for 70% of all deaths in the U.S.

A report released last year from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that nearly all seniors have at least one chronic condition. Nine out of 10 have one chronic illness, such as heart disease, diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Up to 77% reportedly have two or more such conditions. More information is available at www.fightchronicdisease.org.