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Campaign seeks to reduce chronic disease in New Jersey

There is little debate about the fact that chronic disease is costly, both to individuals and to society. Costs include more expensive medical care, loss of worker productivity and early death, just to name a few. So what can we do to reduce the costs associated with these chronic ailments such as uncontrolled diabetes and heart disease?

Many believe that prevention is the key. Late last month, state officials announced the launch of a new five-year plan called “Partnering for a Healthy New Jersey.” According to news sources, the initiative will work to combine single-disease-focused programs already in place in order to improve overall health and wellness for New Jersey residents and to prevent/reduce common chronic illnesses.

In 2003, costs associated with chronic disease cost the state $39 billion, according to a Milken Institute study. Those costs are expected to balloon up to $114.8 billion by 2023. That is, unless we implement targeted intervention strategies.

Of the 10 most common causes of death in New Jersey, seven are chronic diseases. Many of these conditions are also ones that might make a person eligible for social security disability. They include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic lower respiratory disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Stroke

Prevention of these conditions is indeed a worthy goal. Whenever we can improve quality of life and prevent chronic illness, these outcomes should be top priorities. That being said, we cannot entirely eliminate these chronic diseases. If and when individuals are no longer able to work because of a chronic illness, they may wish to seek the help of an experienced Social Security disability attorney.

Source: NJ Spotlight, "State Health Officials Eye New Approach To Chronic Disease Prevention," Andrew Kitchenman, Jan. 29, 2014

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