Community activities reduce rates of chronic disease in older population

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Community-based physical activity programs cost effectively reduce instances of heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases among residents of those communities, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With support from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, CDC researchers assessed the cost effectiveness of community-based physical activities programs. A reduction in the development of new chronic diseases among the population more than made up for money spent on exercise education and group activities, according to the research.

The most significant benefits were in the reduction of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Community activities reduced the rate of new cases by 59-207 cases per 100,000 for diabetes, and 140-476 cases per 100,000 for heart disease, according to the report. The full study appears online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.