National Public Health Week: get out ahead

April 09, 2014 College News - Prevention is now a nationwide priority, and as the public health system evolves, there are more options than ever when it comes to preventive health measures. Public health and clinical health professionals must work collaboratively to help individuals identify and pursue the best preventative health options.

Did you know?

  • Today, seven in 10 deaths in the U.S. are related to preventable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. Another striking fact is that 75 percent of our health care dollars are spent treating such diseases. However, only 3 percent of our health care dollars go toward prevention.
     
  • According to recent research, investments such as the Prevention and Public Health Fund have the potential to improve health outcomes and reduce costs. For example, every 10 percent increase in funding for community-based public health programs is estimated to reduce deaths due to preventable causes by 1 to 7 percent, and a $2.9 billion investment in community-based disease prevention programs was estimated to save $16.5 billion annually within five years (in 2004 dollars).
     
  • The CDC estimates that 1,144,500 people ages 13 and older are living with HIV infection, including 180,900, or 15.8 percent, who are unaware of their infection. Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. Still, the pace of new infections continues at far too high a level— particularly among certain groups.
     
  • Average medical expenses are more than twice as high for a person with diabetes as they are for a person without diabetes. In 2007, the estimated cost of diabetes in the United States was $174 billion. That amount included $116 billion in direct medical care costs and $58 billion in indirect costs from disability, productivity loss and premature death.
     
  • More than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices such as not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right, keeping active and getting recommended screening tests.
     
  • Among adults who smoke, 68 percent began smoking regularly at age 18 or younger, and 85 percent started when they were 21 or younger. The average age of daily smoking initiation for new smokers in 2008 was 20.1 years among those ages 12-49.
     
  • People who begin smoking at an early age are more likely to develop a severe addiction to nicotine than those who start at a later age. Of adolescents who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetimes, most report that they would like to quit, but are not able to do so.

Don't forget to attend the 1st annual Public Health Fair on Thursday, April 10, from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30pm in the MCW Cafeteria Lobby! More information is available on the Public Health Fair flyer (PDF).

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Page Updated 04/09/2014
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