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How Much Is Chronic Illness Costing Our Businesses?

How much is chronic illness costing our businesses? How about $47 trillion dollars! Okay, that’s a little high for any single business or company to have to put out. However, according to a study released last September by the World Economic Forum (WEF), that is exactly what the global economic impact of chronic disease could be by 2030. The study focused on the five leading chronic diseases—cancer, diabetes, mental illness, heart disease, and respiratory disease.

This is not just an economic issue, either. These diseases already kill more than 36 million people a year and are predicted to kill tens of millions more in the future. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the worldwide NCD (non-communicable diseases) epidemic is expected to accelerate so that by 2030 the number of deaths from could reach 52 million a year.

What is becoming more alarming is that these diseases are disproportionally affecting poorer nations. Once thought to be diseases of the rich world, NCDs now disproportionately affect those in poorer nations. WHO has estimated that more than 80 percent of NCD deaths are among people in low and middle income countries.
Closer to home, the numbers are just as staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is much to be concerned with on a national level. Here are a few of their findings:

  • In 2007, national health care expenditures in the United States totaled $2.2 trillion or 16% of its gross domestic product.
  • Each year in the United States, chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes cause 7 in 10 deaths and account for about 75% of the $2 trillion spent on medical care.
  • Since 2000, health insurance premiums for a typical family of four have increased by 114%, proving costly for both employers and employees.
  • Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored coverage are $5,049 for single coverage and $13,770 for family coverage in 20104.

It is clear, that without a strategic and coordinated effort, the costs associated with chronic disease will lead us to emotional, personal, and financial bankruptcy. Please stay tuned as we explore this issue further.

Source:  www.CDC.gov and www.weforum.org

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