About six in ten World wide are living with one or more chronic diseases including hypertension, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Brain injuries and congestive heart failure.
Chronic diseases and their complications are the leading cause of direct medical spending and a major cause of indirect costs such as employee absences and decreased productivity. Take diabetes, for example, where the costs in the U.S. were $327 billion in 2017, with $237 billion in direct medical costs and $90 billion in reduced productivity, an amount that has increased 26% over the preceding five years.
The burden of chronic disease in the worldwide has sharply increased over the last two to three decades and is now so significant that both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention3 and the World Health Organization consider both prevention of chronic disease and prevention of chronic disease complications to be critical goals in improving national and global health.
While prevention of chronic disease is a multi-factorial problem that touches on changes that are occurring in demographics, lifestyles, and diet, the prevention of chronic disease complications is clearly within the domain of medical care.