A new study suggests the State of Iowa could save tens-of-thousands of lives and billions of dollars if policy makers increased investment in efforts to reduce chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and arthritis.
Candace DeMatteis is the policy director for the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, which commissioned the research.
“For the State of Iowa, we’re looking at $57 billion that could be saved over the next 15 years,” DeMatteis said. More than 190 million Americans, or about 59 percent of the population, are affected by one or more chronic diseases. According to DeMatteis, without change, the number of people with three or more chronic diseases is expected to increase to 83 million by 2030, and overall costs will accumulate to more than $42 trillion.
“So, 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, improved, and enhanced,” DeMatteis said.
In 2015, 1.8 million Iowans had at least one chronic disease.