CHRONIC DISEASE PREVALANCEThe Rising Prevalence of Chronic DiseaseThe prevalence of chronic disease is on the rise and continues to be an ongoing problem throughout the United States. Chronic diseases are usually diseases that are incurable and are considered ongoing conditions. Some examples of chronic diseases include asthma, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Many of these conditions are preventable and can easily be managed through efforts of early detection and with an improved diet, physical activity and treatment modalities. Chronic diseases coincide with multimorbitidies and are expected to climb in the years to come (Oostrom, Gijsen, Stirbu, Korevaar, Schellevis, Picavet, & Hoeymans, 2016). The prevalence of chronic diseases and multimorbidity increased over the period 2001–2011. Aging of the population only explained part of the increase, implying that other factors such as health care and society-related developments are responsible for a substantial part of this rise (Oostrom et al., 2016).In the United States, the leading cause of death is contributed to chronic diseases as over 130 million Americans have at least one, accounting for over 45% of the population (Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, 2018). Seven out of every ten deaths are due to chronic disease, leading to over 1.7 million American deaths each year. Chronic diseases can deteriorate an individual’s life and become very disabling, especially if it’s not managed properly or left untreated or undiagnosed (Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, 2018). A good example of this isthat every thirty seconds, a lower limb is lost due to complications of diabetes. The prevalence of having at least one chronic disease based on a selection of 28-recordeddiagnoses in general practice was 34.9% in 2004 and 41.8% in 2011, a statistically significant increase of 6.9 percentage points during the period 2004–2011 for the population of 25 years andolder. Standardization to the population in 2011 reduced the increase to 5.7 percentage points, 2
CHRONIC DISEASE PREVALANCEwhich was still a significant rise. The increase in prevalence was significant for men and women and for all age groups except for those aged 0–24 years. For all age groups over 25 years the increase was significantly larger in men than in women (p<0.01) (Oostrom et al., 2016).Chronic diseases increase the demand for healthcare needs and are increasing costs as patients with these conditions are the more frequent users of healthcare in the U.S., accounting for over 80% of all hospital admissions, over 90% of prescription refills and over 70% of visits to a healthcare provider (Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, 2018). Chronic diseases also account for the majority of healthcare spending. Employers and employees in the United States are paying for healthcare costs for chronic diseases through associated costs from a greater demand for and usage of services for chronic diseases.