A new study suggests Nebraska could save tens-of-thousands of lives and billions of dollars if policy makers invested more heavily in efforts to reduce chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis.
Candace DeMatteis is policy director for the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, which commissioned the research. DeMatteis says, “For the state of Nebraska, we found through the economic analysis that the state could save nearly $31-billion over next 15 years.”
More than 190-million Americans, or about 59% of the population, are affected by one or more chronic diseases. According to the study, without change, the number of people with three or more chronic diseases is expected to rise to 83-million by 2030 and overall costs will accumulate to more than $42 trillion.
“It’s important that we reach out and educate the people who want our vote, who want to be our leaders, on the importance of tackling chronic disease — both in terms of the savings to the states, but also to individuals, the lives that could be saved, the lives that could be improved and enhanced,” DeMatteis says.
In 2015, the report found about 1.1-million people in Nebraska had at least one chronic disease.