National Association Of Chronic Disease Directors Releases Top 10 Advances in Chronic Disease Prevention

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The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), a public health association providing a national forum for chronic disease prevention and control efforts, today announced its report, "Public Health Advances Through Chronic Disease Prevention: 1986-2006," highlighting the top 10 most important advances in chronic disease prevention and control.

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), a public health association providing a national forum for chronic disease prevention and control efforts, today announced its report, "Public Health Advances Through Chronic Disease Prevention: 1986-2006," highlighting the top 10 most important advances in chronic disease prevention and control.

To mark its 20th anniversary, NACDD recognized important achievements in chronic disease prevention and control during the past two decades. The association asked NACDD members, Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) staff and other partners to give their ideas on noteworthy achievements. They submitted 400 nominations, which were narrowed down to 10.

The 10 most important advances in chronic disease prevention and control include: 1) reduction in breast and cervical mortality; 2) continued reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality; 3) reduction in tobacco use among adults and in the onset of tobacco use by adolescents; 4) reducing the progression and complications of Type 2 diabetes; 5) reduction in tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss; 6) obesity as a public health problem; 7) importance of physical activity across the lifespan; 8) value of self-management of chronic diseases; 9) role that infections play in developing chronic disease; and 10) potential for reductions in health disparities.

"We have made significant strides in chronic disease prevention and control, but additional work is needed to achieve significant health outcomes," said John Robitscher, NACDD executive director. "In order to achieve important advances, more federal funding is necessary, especially in the areas of heart disease and stroke, diabetes and obesity, three top chronic disease conditions affecting millions of Americans."

Regarding the future of chronic disease prevention and control, the report states that a "serious disconnect remains between chronic disease funding and chronic disease burden." Less than 3 percent of health funding is directed to prevention efforts.

"The bias against prevention is so pervasive, so embedded, so intractable, that many people, including policy makers, fail to recognize that the development of most chronic illnesses is almost entirely outside the purview of clinical care," according to the report.

To achieve continued success in the next 20 years, the report lists the following efforts:

  •     Improve state and local policies that support healthy living and pay first for prevention.
  •     Establish prevention programs that engage managed care organizations and other providers
  •     Expand access to care for the uninsured and underinsured.
  •     Form stronger partnerships with nontraditional partners such as the media and transportation and urban planning agencies.
  •     Build a solid infrastructure for chronic disease prevention and control efforts at the national, state and local levels.

"With a committed and focused effort, the next 20 years can bring coordinated, integrated and comprehensive chronic disease prevention and control to all people living in all states and territories," the report concluded.

About NACDD

NACDD represents chronic disease directors and public health program staff in every state and U.S. territory. The association works to reduce the impact of chronic diseases by advocating for preventative policies and programs, encouraging knowledge-sharing among public health staff and developing partnerships for health promotion.

Through its eight councils and four interest groups, NACDD supports activities focusing on specific chronic disease conditions, including arthritis, cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, health disparities, healthy aging, osteoporosis and obesity.

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WENDY ALPINE
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