Preventing Chronic Conditions Adds Healthy Years

Chronic conditions affect up to 90% of seniors. A new study suggests something that should be somewhat obvious – preventing chronic conditions could both save significant amounts of money and add healthy years to the lives of the elderly. Duh!

Chronic conditions include diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Researchers followed 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.

These preventive measures add time to a person’s life. 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.

See the American Journal of Public Health.