Levels of preventionPreventive healthcare strategies are described as taking place at the primal, primary,Goldston, S. E. (Ed.). (1987). ''Concepts of primary prevention: A framework for program development''. Sacramento, California Department of Mental Health secondary, and tertiary prevention levels. Although advocated as preventive medicine in the early twentieth century by Sara Josephine Baker, in the 1940s, Hugh R. Leavell and E. Gurney Clark coined the term primary prevention. They worked at the Harvard and Columbia University Schools of Public Health, respectively, and later expanded the levels to include secondary and tertiary prevention. Goldston (1987) notes that these levels might be better described as "prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation", although the terms primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention are still in use today. The concept of primal prevention has been created much more recently, in relation to the new developments in molecular biology over the last fifty years, more particularly in epigenetics, which point to the paramount importance of environmental conditions - both physical and affective - on the organism during its fetal and newborn life (or so-called primal period of life).
Primal and primordial preventionPrimal prevention has been propounded as a separate category of health promotion. This health promotion ''par excellence''see: http://www.primalprevention.org is based on knowledge in molecular biology, in particular on epigenetics, which points to how much affective as well as physical environment during fetal and newborn life may determine adult health. This way of promoting health consists mainly in providing future parents with pertinent, unbiased information on primal health and supporting them during their child's primal period of life (i.e., "from conception to first anniversary" according to definition by the Primal Health Research Centre, London). This includes adequate parental leave ideally for both parents with kin caregiving and financial help where needed. Primordial prevention refers to all measures designed to prevent the development of risk factors in the first place, early in life, and even preconception, as Ruth Etzel has described it "all population-level actions and measures that inhibit the emergence and establishment of adverse environmental, economic, and social conditions". This could be reducing air pollution or prohibiting endocrine-disrupting chemicals in food-handling equipment and food contact materials.
Primary preventionPrimary prevention consists of traditional health promotion and "specific protection." Health promotion activities are current, non-clinical life choices such as, eating nutritious meals and exercising daily, that both prevent disease and create a sense of overall well-being. Preventing disease and creating overall well-being, prolongs life expectancy. Health-promotional activities do not target a specific disease or condition but rather promote health and well-being on a very general level. On the other hand, specific protection targets a type or group of diseases and complements the goals of health promotion. Food is the most basic tool in preventive health care. The 2011 National Health Interview Survey performed by the Centers for Disease Control was the first national survey to include questions about ability to pay for food. Difficulty with paying for food, medicine, or both is a problem facing 1 out of 3 Americans. If better food options were available through food banks, soup kitchens, and other resources for low-income people, obesity and the chronic conditions that come along with it would be better controlled. A food desert is an area with restricted access to healthy foods due to a lack of supermarkets within a reasonable distance. These are often low-income neighborhoods with the majority of residents lacking transportation. There have been several grassroots movements since 1995 to encourage urban horticulture, urban gardening, using vacant lots to grow food cultivated by local residents. Mobile fresh markets are another resource for residents in a "food desert", which are specially outfitted buses bringing affordable fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income neighborhoods. Scientific advancements in genetics have contributed to the knowledge of hereditary diseases and have facilitated progress in specific protective measures in individuals who are carriers of a disease gene or have an increased predisposition to a specific disease. Genetic testing has allowed physicians to make quicker and more accurate diagnoses and has allowed for tailored treatments or personalized medicine. Similarly, specific protective measures such as water purification, sewage treatment, and the development of personal hygienic routines (such as regular hand-washing, safe sex to prevent sexually transmitted infections) became mainstream upon the discovery of infectious disease agents and have decreased the rates of communicable diseases which are spread in unsanitary conditions.
Secondary preventionSecondary prevention deals with latent diseases and attempts to prevent an asymptomatic disease from progressing to symptomatic disease. Certain diseases can be classified as primary or secondary. This depends on definitions of what constitutes a disease, though, in general, primary prevention addresses the root cause of a disease or injury whereas secondary prevention aims to detect and treat a disease early on.Module 13: Levels of Disease Prevention. (2007, April 24). Retrieved March 16, 2014, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/excite/skincancer/mod13.htm Secondary prevention consists of "early diagnosis and prompt treatment" to contain the disease and prevent its spread to other individuals, and "disability limitation" to prevent potential future complications and disabilities from the disease. For example, early diagnosis and prompt treatment for a syphilis patient would include a course of antibiotics to destroy the pathogen and screening and treatment of any infants born to syphilitic mothers. Disability limitation for syphilitic patients includes continued check-ups on the heart, cerebrospinal fluid, and central nervous system of patients to curb any damaging effects such as blindness or paralysis.
Tertiary preventionFinally, tertiary prevention attempts to reduce the damage caused by symptomatic disease by focusing on mental, physical, and social rehabilitation. Unlike secondary prevention, which aims to prevent disability, the objective of tertiary prevention is to maximize the remaining capabilities and functions of an already disabled patient. Goals of tertiary prevention include: preventing pain and damage, halting progression and complications from disease, and restoring the health and functions of the individuals affected by disease. For syphilitic patients, rehabilitation includes measures to prevent complete disability from the disease, such as implementing work-place adjustments for the blind and paralyzed or providing counseling to restore normal daily functions to the greatest extent possible.
Leading causes of preventable death
United StatesThe leading cause of death in the United States was tobacco. However, poor diet and lack of exercise may soon surpass tobacco as a leading cause of death. These behaviors are modifiable and public health and prevention efforts could make a difference to reduce these deaths.
WorldwideThe leading causes of preventable death worldwide share similar trends to the United States. There are a few differences between the two, such as malnutrition, pollution, and unsafe sanitation, that reflect health disparities between the developing and developed world.
Child mortalityIn 2010, 7.6 million children died before reaching the age of 5. While this is a decrease from 9.6 million in the year 2000, it was still far from the fourth Millennium Development Goal to decrease child mortality by two-thirds by the year 2015.Countdown to 2015, decade report (2000–10)—taking stock of maternal, newborn and child survival WHO, Geneva (2010) Of these deaths, about 64% were due to infectious diseases, infection including diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria. About 40% of these deaths occurred in neonates (children ages 1–28 days) due to pre-term birth complications. The highest number of child deaths occurred in Africa and Southeast Asia. As of 2015 in Africa, almost no progress has been made in reducing neonatal death since 1990. In 2010, India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, and China contributed to almost 50% of global child deaths. Targeting efforts in these countries is essential to reducing the global child death rate. Child mortality is caused by factors including poverty, environmental hazards, and lack of maternal education. In 2003, the World Health Organization created a list of interventions in the following table that were judged economically and operationally "feasible," based on the healthcare resources and infrastructure in 42 nations that contribute to 90% of all infant and child deaths. The table indicates how many infant and child deaths could have been prevented in the year 2000, assuming universal healthcare coverage.
ObesityObesity is a major risk factor for a wide variety of conditions including cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes. In order to prevent obesity, it is recommended that individuals adhere to a consistent exercise regimen as well as a nutritious and balanced diet. A healthy individual should aim for acquiring 10% of their energy from proteins, 15-20% from fat, and over 50% from complex carbohydrates, while avoiding alcohol as well as foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Sedentary adults should aim for at least half an hour of moderate-level daily physical activity and eventually increase to include at least 20 minutes of intense exercise, three times a week. Preventive health care offers many benefits to those that chose to participate in taking an active role in the culture. The medical system in our society is geared toward curing acute symptoms of disease after the fact that they have brought us into the emergency room. An ongoing epidemic within American culture is the prevalence of obesity. Healthy eating and regular exercise play a significant role in reducing an individual's risk for type 2 diabetes. A 2008 study concluded that about 23.6 million people in the United States had diabetes, including 5.7 million that had not been diagnosed. Ninety to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is the main cause of kidney failure, limb amputation, and new-onset blindness in American adults.
Sexually transmitted infectionsSexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as syphilis and HIV, are common but preventable with safe-sex practices. STIs can be asymptomatic, or cause a range of symptoms. Preventive measures for STIs are called prophylactics. The term especially applies to the use of condoms, which are highly effective at preventing disease, but also to other devices meant to prevent STIs, such as dental dams and latex gloves. Other means for preventing STIs include education on how to use condoms or other Safe sex#Condoms, dental dams, gloves, such barrier devices, Bareback (sex)#Fluid bonding, testing partners before having unprotected sex, receiving regular STI screenings, to both receive treatment and prevent spreading STIs to partners, and, specifically for HIV, regularly taking prophylactic antiretroviral drugs, such as Truvada. Post-exposure prophylaxis, started within 72 hours (optimally less than 1 hour) after exposure to high-risk fluids, can also protect against HIV transmission.
Malaria prevention using genetic modificationGenetically modified mosquitoes are being used in developing countries to control malaria. This approach has been subject to objections and controversy.
ThrombosisThrombosis is a serious circulatory disease affecting thousands, usually older persons undergoing surgical procedures, women taking oral contraceptives and travelers. The consequences of thrombosis can be heart attacks and strokes. Prevention can include: exercise, anti-embolism stockings, pneumatic devices, and pharmacological treatments.
CancerIn recent years, has become a global problem. Low and middle income countries share a majority of the cancer burden largely due to exposure to carcinogens resulting from industrialization and globalization. However, primary prevention of cancer and knowledge of cancer risk factors can reduce over one third of all cancer cases. Primary prevention of cancer can also prevent other diseases, both communicable and non-communicable, that share common risk factors with cancer.
Lung cancerLung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and Europe and is a major cause of death in other countries. Tobacco is an environmental carcinogen and the major underlying cause of lung cancer. Between 25% and 40% of all cancer deaths and about 90% of lung cancer cases are associated with tobacco use. Other carcinogens include asbestos and radioactive materials.Risser, N. L. (1996). Prevention of Lung Cancer: The Key Is to Stop Smoking. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 12, 260-269. Both smoking and second-hand exposure from other smokers can lead to lung cancer and eventually death. Therefore, prevention of tobacco use is paramount to prevention of lung cancer. Individual, community, and statewide interventions can prevent or cease tobacco use. 90% of adults in the US who have ever smoked did so prior to the age of 20. In-school prevention/educational programs, as well as counseling resources, can help prevent and cease adolescent smoking. Other cessation techniques include group support programs, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), hypnosis, and self-motivated behavioral change. Studies have shown long term success rates (>1 year) of 20% for hypnosis and 10%-20% for group therapy. Cancer screening programs serve as effective sources of secondary prevention. The Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospitals conducted annual x-ray screenings and sputum cytology tests and found that lung cancer was detected at higher rates, earlier stages, and had more favorable treatment outcomes, which supports widespread investment in such programs. Legislation can also affect smoking prevention and cessation. In 1992, Massachusetts (United States) voters passed a bill adding an extra 25 cent tax to each pack of cigarettes, despite intense lobbying and $7.3 million spent by the tobacco industry to oppose this bill. Tax revenue goes toward tobacco education and control programs and has led to a decline of tobacco use in the state. Lung cancer and tobacco smoking are increasing worldwide, especially in China. China is responsible for about one-third of the global consumption and production of tobacco products. Tobacco control policies have been ineffective as China is home to 350 million regular smokers and 750 million passive smokers and the annual death toll is over 1 million. Recommended actions to reduce tobacco use include: decreasing tobacco supply, increasing tobacco taxes, widespread educational campaigns, decreasing advertising from the tobacco industry, and increasing tobacco cessation support resources. In Wuhan, China, a 1998 school-based program implemented an anti-tobacco curriculum for adolescents and reduced the number of regular smokers, though it did not significantly decrease the number of adolescents who initiated smoking. This program was therefore effective in secondary but not primary prevention and shows that school-based programs have the potential to reduce tobacco use.
Skin cancerSkin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.MMWR. Recommendations and Reports : Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Recommendations and Reports / Centers for Disease Control [2002, 51(RR-4):1-18] The most lethal form of skin cancer, melanoma, leads to over 50,000 annual deaths in the United States. Childhood prevention is particularly important because a significant portion of ultraviolet radiation exposure from the sun occurs during childhood and adolescence and can subsequently lead to skin cancer in adulthood. Furthermore, childhood prevention can lead to the development of healthy habits that continue to prevent cancer for a lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends several primary prevention methods including: limiting sun exposure between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun is strongest, wearing tighter-weave natural cotton clothing, wide-brim hats, and sunglasses as protective covers, using sunscreens that protect against both UV-A and UV-B rays, and avoiding tanning salons. Sunscreen should be reapplied after sweating, exposure to water (through swimming for example) or after several hours of sun exposure. Since skin cancer is very preventable, the CDC recommends school-level prevention programs including preventive curricula, family involvement, participation and support from the school's health services, and partnership with community, state, and national agencies and organizations to keep children away from excessive UV radiation exposure. Most skin cancer and sun protection data comes from Australia and the United States. An international study reported that Australians tended to demonstrate higher knowledge of sun protection and skin cancer knowledge, compared to other countries. Of children, adolescents, and adults, sunscreen was the most commonly used skin protection. However, many adolescents purposely used sunscreen with a low sun protection factor (SPF) in order to get a tan. Various Australian studies have shown that many adults failed to use sunscreen correctly; many applied sunscreen well after their initial sun exposure and/or failed to reapply when necessary. A 2002 case-control study in Brazil showed that only 3% of case participants and 11% of control participants used sunscreen with SPF >15.
Cervical cancerCervical cancer ranks among the top three most common cancers among women in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of Asia. Cervical cytology screening aims to detect abnormal lesions in the cervix so that women can undergo treatment prior to the development of cancer. Given that high quality screening and follow-up care has been shown to reduce cervical cancer rates by up to 80%, most developed countries now encourage sexually active women to undergo a Pap test every 3–5 years. Finland and Iceland have developed effective organized programs with routine monitoring and have managed to significantly reduce cervical cancer mortality while using fewer resources than unorganized, opportunistic programs such as those in the United States or Canada. In developing nations in Latin America, such as Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Cuba, both public and privately organized programs have offered women routine cytological screening since the 1970s. However, these efforts have not resulted in a significant change in cervical cancer incidence or mortality in these nations. This is likely due to low quality, inefficient testing. However, Puerto Rico, which has offered early screening since the 1960s, has witnessed almost a 50% decline in cervical cancer incidence and almost a four-fold decrease in mortality between 1950 and 1990. Brazil, Peru, India, and several high-risk nations in sub-Saharan Africa which lack organized screening programs, have a high incidence of cervical cancer.
Colorectal cancerColorectal cancer is globally the second most common cancer in women and the third-most common in men, and the fourth most common cause of cancer death after lung cancer, lung, stomach cancer, stomach, and liver cancer, having caused 715,000 deaths in 2010. It is also highly preventable; about 80 percent of colorectal cancers begin as adenoma, benign growths, commonly called colorectal polyp, polyps, which can be easily detected and removed during a colonoscopy. Other methods of screening for polyps and cancers include fecal occult blood testing. Lifestyle changes that may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer include increasing consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and reducing consumption of red meat (see Colorectal cancer).
Health disparities and barriers to accessing careAccess to healthcare and preventive health services is unequal, as is the quality of care received. A study conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) revealed health disparities in the United States. In the United States, elderly adults (>65 years old) received worse care and had less access to care than their younger counterparts. The same trends are seen when comparing all racial minorities (black, Hispanic, Asian) to white patients, and low-income people to high-income people. Common barriers to accessing and utilizing healthcare resources included lack of income and education, language barriers, and lack of health insurance. Minorities were less likely than whites to possess health insurance, as were individuals who completed less education. These disparities made it more difficult for the disadvantaged groups to have regular access to a primary care provider, receive immunizations, or receive other types of medical care.Disparities in Healthcare Quality Among Racial and Ethnic Groups: Selected Findings from the 2011 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports. Fact Sheet. AHRQ Publication No. 12-0006-1-EF, September 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/nhqrdr11/nhqrdrminority11.htm Additionally, uninsured people tend to not seek care until their diseases progress to chronic and serious states and they are also more likely to forgo necessary tests, treatments, and filling prescription medications. These sorts of disparities and barriers exist worldwide as well. Often, there are decades of gaps in life expectancy between developing and developed countries. For example, Japan has an average life expectancy that is 36 years greater than that in Malawi.Fact file on health inequities. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2014, from World Health Organization website: http://www.who.int/sdhconference/background/news/facts/en/ Low-income countries also tend to have fewer physicians than high-income countries. In Nigeria and Myanmar, there are fewer than 4 physicians per 100,000 people while Norway and Switzerland have a ratio that is ten-fold higher. Common barriers worldwide include lack of availability of health services and healthcare providers in the region, great physical distance between the home and health service facilities, high transportation costs, high treatment costs, and social norms and stigma toward accessing certain health services.
Economics of lifestyle-based preventionWith lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise rising to the top of preventable death statistics, the economics of healthy lifestyle is a growing concern. There is little question that positive lifestyle choices provide an investment in health throughout life. To gauge success, traditional measures such as the quality years of life method Quality-adjusted life year, (QALY), show great value. However, that method does not account for the cost of chronic conditions or future lost earnings because of poor health. Developing future economic models that would guide both private and public investments as well as drive future policy to evaluate the efficacy of positive lifestyle choices on health is a major topic for economists globally. US Americans spend over three trillion a year on health care but have a higher rate of infant mortality, shorter Life expectancy, life expectancies, and a higher rate of diabetes than other high-income nations because of negative lifestyle choices. Despite these large costs, very little is spent on prevention for lifestyle-caused conditions in comparison. In 2016, the ''Journal of the American Medical Association'' estimated that $101 billion was spent in 2013 on the preventable disease of Diabetes mellitus, diabetes, and another $88 billion was spent on Cardiovascular disease, heart disease. In an effort to encourage healthy lifestyle choices, as of 2010 workplace wellness programs were on the rise but the economics and effectiveness data were continuing to evolve and develop. Health insurance coverage impacts lifestyle choices, even intermittent loss of coverage had negative effects on healthy choices in the US. The repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Affordable Care Act (ACA) could significantly impact coverage for many Americans, as well as “The Prevention and Public Health Fund” which is the US first and only mandatory funding stream dedicated to improving public health including counseling on lifestyle prevention issues, such as weight management, alcohol use, and treatment for Mood disorder#Depressive disorders, depression. Because in the US chronic illnesses predominate as a cause of death and pathways for treating chronic illnesses are complex and multifaceted, prevention is a best practice approach to chronic disease when possible. In many cases, prevention requires mapping complex pathways to determine the ideal point for intervention. Cost-effectiveness of prevention is achievable, but impacted by the length of time it takes to see effects/outcomes of intervention. This makes prevention efforts difficult to fund—particularly in strained financial contexts. Prevention potentially creates other costs as well, due to extending the Life expectancy, lifespan and thereby increasing opportunities for illness. In order to assess the cost-effectiveness of prevention, the cost of the preventive measure, savings from avoiding morbidity, and the cost from extending the lifespan need to be considered. Life extension costs become smaller when accounting for savings from postponing the last year of life, which makes up a large fraction of lifetime medical expenditures and becomes cheaper with age. Prevention leads to savings only if the cost of the preventive measure is less than the savings from avoiding morbidity net of the cost of extending the life span. In order to establish reliable economics of prevention for illnesses that are complicated in origin, knowing how best to assess prevention efforts, i.e. developing useful measures and appropriate scope, is required.
OverviewThere is no general consensus as to whether or not preventive healthcare measures are cost-effective, but they increase the quality of life dramatically. There are varying views on what constitutes a "good investment." Some argue that preventive health measures should save more money than they cost, when factoring in treatment costs in the absence of such measures. Others have argued in favor of "good value" or conferring significant health benefits even if the measures do not save money. Furthermore, preventive health services are often described as one entity though they comprise a myriad of different services, each of which can individually lead to net costs, savings, or neither. Greater differentiation of these services is necessary to fully understand both the financial and health effects. A 2010 study reported that in the United States, vaccinating children, cessation of smoking, daily prophylactic use of aspirin, and Screening (medicine), screening of breast and colorectal cancers had the most potential to prevent premature death. Preventive health measures that resulted in savings included vaccinating children and adults, smoking cessation, daily use of aspirin, and screening for issues with alcoholism, obesity, and vision failure. These authors estimated that if usage of these services in the United States increased to 90% of the population, there would be net savings of $3.7 billion, which comprised only about -0.2% of the total 2006 Health care in the United States, United States healthcare expenditure. Despite the potential for decreasing healthcare spending, utilization of healthcare resources in the United States still remains low, especially among Latinos and African-Americans. Overall, preventive services are difficult to implement because healthcare providers have limited time with patients and must integrate a variety of preventive health measures from different sources. While these specific services bring about small net savings, not every preventive health measure saves more than it costs. A 1970s study showed that preventing heart attacks by treating hypertension early on with drugs actually did not save money in the long run. The money saved by evading treatment from heart attack and stroke only amounted to about a quarter of the cost of the drugs. Similarly, it was found that the cost of drugs or dietary changes to decrease high blood cholesterol exceeded the cost of subsequent heart disease treatment. Due to these findings, some argue that rather than focusing healthcare reform efforts exclusively on preventive care, the interventions that bring about the highest level of health should be prioritized. In 2008, Cohen et al. outlined a few arguments made by skeptics of preventive healthcare. Many argue that preventive measures only cost less than future treatment when the proportion of the population that would become ill in the absence of prevention is fairly large. The Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group conducted a 2012 study evaluating the costs and benefits in quality-adjusted life-years or QALYs of lifestyle changes versus taking the drug metformin. They found that neither method brought about financial savings, but were cost-effective nonetheless because they brought about an increase in QALYs. In addition to scrutinizing costs, preventive healthcare skeptics also examine efficiency of interventions. They argue that while many treatments of existing diseases involve use of advanced equipment and technology, in some cases, this is a more efficient use of resources than attempts to prevent the disease. Cohen suggested that the preventive measures most worth exploring and investing in are those that could benefit a large portion of the population to bring about cumulative and widespread health benefits at a reasonable cost.
Cost-effectiveness of childhood obesity interventionsThere are at least four nationally implemented childhood obesity interventions in the United States: the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage excise tax (SSB), the TV AD program, active physical education (Active PE) policies, and early care and education (ECE) policies. They each have similar goals of reducing childhood obesity. The effects of these interventions on BMI have been studied, and the cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) has led to a better understanding of projected cost reductions and improved health outcomes. The Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) was conducted to evaluate and compare the CEA of these four interventions. Gortmaker, S.L. et al. (2015) states: "The four initial interventions were selected by the investigators to represent a broad range of nationally scalable strategies to reduce childhood obesity using a mix of both policy and programmatic strategies... 1. an excise tax of $0.01 per ounce of sweetened beverages, applied nationally and administered at the state level (SSB), 2. elimination of the tax deductibility of advertising costs of TV advertisements for "nutritionally poor" foods and beverages seen by children and adolescents (TV AD), 3. state policy requiring all public elementary schools in which physical education (PE) is currently provided to devote ≥50% of PE class time to moderate and vigorous physical activity (Active PE), and 4. state policy to make early child educational settings healthier by increasing physical activity, improving nutrition, and reducing screen time (ECE)." The CHOICES found that SSB, TV AD, and ECE led to net cost savings. Both SSB and TV AD increased quality adjusted life years and produced yearly tax revenue of 12.5 billion US dollars and 80 million US dollars, respectively. Some challenges with evaluating the effectiveness of child obesity interventions include: # The economic consequences of childhood obesity are both short and long term. In the short term, obesity impairs cognitive achievement and academic performance. Some believe this is secondary to negative effects on mood or energy, but others suggest there may be physiological factors involved. Furthermore, obese children have increased health care expenses (e.g. medications, acute care visits). In the long term, obese children tend to become obese adults with associated increased risk for a chronic condition such as diabetes or hypertension. Any effect on their cognitive development may also affect their contributions to society and socioeconomic status. # In the CHOICES, it was noted that translating the effects of these interventions may in fact differ among communities throughout the nation. In addition it was suggested that limited outcomes are studied and these interventions may have an additional effect that is not fully appreciated. # Modeling outcomes in such interventions in children over the long term is challenging because advances in medicine and medical technology are unpredictable. The projections from cost-effective analysis may need to be reassessed more frequently.
Economics of US preventive careAs of 2009, the cost-effectiveness of preventive care is a highly debated topic. While some economists argue that preventive care is valuable and potentially cost saving, others believe it is an inefficient waste of resources. Preventive care is composed of a variety of clinical services and programs including annual doctor's check-ups, annual immunizations, and wellness programs; recent models show that these simple interventions can have significant economic impacts.
Clinical preventive services & programsResearch on preventive care addresses the question of whether it is cost saving or cost effective and whether there is an economics evidence base for health promotion and disease prevention. The need for and interest in preventive care is driven by the imperative to reduce health care costs while improving quality of care and the patient experience. Preventive care can lead to improved health outcomes and cost savings potential. Services such as health assessments/screenings, prenatal care, and telehealth and telemedicine can reduce morbidity or mortality with low cost or cost savings. Specifically, health assessments/screenings have cost savings potential, with varied cost-effectiveness based on screening and assessment type. Inadequate prenatal care can lead to an increased risk of prematurity, stillbirth, and infant death. Time is the ultimate resource and preventive care can help mitigate the time costs.Folland, S., Goodman, A., & Stano, M. (2013). The economics of health and health care. (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education. Telehealth and telemedicine is one option that has gained consumer interest, acceptance and confidence and can improve quality of care and patient satisfaction.
Economics for investmentThere are benefits and trade-offs when considering investment in preventive care versus other types of clinical services. Preventive care can be a good investment as supported by the evidence base and can drive population health management objectives. The concepts of cost saving and cost-effectiveness are different and both are relevant to preventive care. For example, preventive care that may not save money may still provide health benefits. Thus, there is a need to compare interventions relative to impact on health and cost. Preventive care transcends demographics and is applicable to people of every age. The Health Capital Theory underpins the importance of preventive care across the lifecycle and provides a framework for understanding the variances in health and health care that are experienced. It treats health as a stock that provides direct utility. Health depreciates with age and the aging process can be countered through health investments. The theory further supports that individuals demand good health, that the demand for health investment is a derived demand (i.e. investment is health is due to the underlying demand for good health), and the efficiency of the health investment process increases with knowledge (i.e. it is assumed that the more educated are more efficient consumers and producers of health). The prevalence elasticity of demand for prevention can also provide insights into the economics. Demand for preventive care can alter the prevalence rate of a given disease and further reduce or even reverse any further growth of prevalence. Reduction in prevalence subsequently leads to reduction in costs. There are a number of organizations and policy actions that are relevant when discussing the economics of preventive care services. The evidence base, viewpoints, and policy briefs from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and efforts by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) all provide examples that improve the health and well-being of populations (e.g. preventive health assessments/screenings, prenatal care, and telehealth/telemedicine). Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, ACA) has major influence on the provision of preventive care services, although it is currently under heavy scrutiny and review by the new administration. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the ACA makes preventive care affordable and accessible through mandatory coverage of preventive services without a deductible, copayment, coinsurance, or other cost sharing.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013)
Health insuranceHealthcare insurance companies are willing to pay for preventive care despite the fact that patients are not acutely sick in hope that it will prevent them from developing a chronic disease later on in life. Today, health insurance plans offered through the Marketplace, mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Affordable Care Act are required to provide certain preventive care services free of charge to patients
Evaluating incremental benefitsEvaluating the incremental benefits of preventive care requires a longer period of time when compared to acutely ill patients. Inputs into the model such as discounting rate and time horizon can have significant effects on the results. One controversial subject is use of a 10-year time frame to assess cost effectiveness of diabetes preventive services by the Congressional Budget Office. Preventive care services mainly focus on chronic disease. The Congressional Budget Office has provided guidance that further research is needed in the area of the economic impacts of obesity in the US before the CBO can estimate budgetary consequences. A bipartisan report published in May 2015 recognizes the potential of preventive care to improve patients' health at individual and population levels while decreasing the healthcare expenditure.
Economic case''Mortality from modifiable risk factors'' Chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and cancer have become the most common and costly health problems in the United States. In 2014, it was projected that by 2023 that the number of chronic disease cases would increase by 42%, resulting in $4.2 trillion in treatment and lost economic output.Milken Institute. (January 2014). Checkup Time, Chronic Disease and Wellness in America: Measuring the Economic Burden in a Changing Nation. Accessed 3/23/18 from http://assets1c.milkeninstitute.org/assets/Publication/ResearchReport/PDF/Checkup-Time-Chronic-Disease-and-Wellness-in-America.pdf They are also among the top ten leading causes of mortality. Chronic diseases are driven by risk factors that are largely preventable. Sub-analysis performed on all deaths in the United States in the year 2000 revealed that almost half were attributed to preventable behaviors including tobacco, poor diet, physical inactivity and alcohol consumption. More recent analysis reveals that heart disease and cancer alone accounted for nearly 46% of all deaths. Modifiable risk factors are also responsible for a large morbidity burden, resulting in poor quality of life in the present and loss of future life earning years. It is further estimated that by 2023, focused efforts on the prevention and treatment of chronic disease may result in 40 million fewer chronic disease cases, potentially reducing treatment costs by $220 billion. ''Childhood vaccinations'' Childhood immunizations are largely responsible for the increase in life expectancy in the 20th century. From an economic standpoint, childhood vaccines demonstrate a very high return on investment. According to Healthy People 2020, for every birth cohort that receives the routine childhood vaccination schedule, direct health care costs are reduced by $9.9 billion and society saves $33.4 billion in indirect costs. The economic benefits of childhood vaccination extend beyond individual patients to insurance plans and vaccine manufacturers, all while improving the health of the population. ''Health capital theory'' The burden of preventable illness extends beyond the healthcare sector, incurring costs related to lost productivity among workers in the workforce. Indirect costs related to poor health behaviors and associated chronic disease costs U.S. employers billions of dollars each year. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), medical costs for employees with diabetes are twice as high as for workers without diabetes and are caused by work-related absenteeism ($5 billion), reduced productivity at work ($20.8 billion), inability to work due to illness-related disability ($21.6 billion), and premature mortality ($18.5 billion). Reported estimates of the cost burden due to increasingly high levels of overweight and obese members in the workforce vary, with best estimates suggesting 450 million more missed work days, resulting in $153 billion each year in lost productivity, according to the CDC Healthy Workforce. The Health Capital model explains how individual investments in health can increase earnings by “increasing the number of healthy days available to work and to earn income.” In this context, health can be treated both as a consumption good, wherein individuals desire health because it improves quality of life in the present, and as an investment good because of its potential to increase attendance and workplace productivity over time. Preventive health behaviors such as healthful diet, regular exercise, access to and use of well-care, avoiding tobacco, and limiting alcohol can be viewed as health inputs that result in both a healthier workforce and substantial cost savings. ''Quality adjusted life years'' Health benefits of preventive care measures can be described in terms of Quality-adjusted life year, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) saved. A QALY takes into account length and quality of life, and is used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of medical and preventive interventions. Classically, one year of perfect health is defined as 1 QALY and a year with any degree of less than perfect health is assigned a value between 0 and 1 QALY. As an economic weighting system, the QALY can be used to inform personal decisions, to evaluate preventive interventions and to set priorities for future preventive efforts. Cost-saving and cost-effective benefits of preventive care measures are well established. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation evaluated the prevention cost-effectiveness literature, and found that many preventive measures meet the benchmark of <$100,000 per QALY and are considered to b
See also*American Board of Preventive Medicine *''American Journal of Preventive Medicine'' *American Osteopathic Board of Preventive Medicine *Chemoprevention *Human_genetic_enhancement#To_prevent_the_possibility_of_catching_particular_diseases, Genetic modifications preventing the possibility of diseases to occur at all *Epigenetics *Mental disorder#Prevention, Mental illness prevention *Public health *Pre-exposure prophylaxis *''Preventive Medicine (journal)'' *Primary Health Care *Treatment as prevention