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AMA Continues Efforts to Prevent Chronic Diseases Impacting Millions of Americas Seniors

Posted on Monday, July 13, 2015

Statement attributable to: Andrew W. Gurman, M.D., President-elect, American Medical Association

“As part of the AMA's long-standing commitment to improving the health of the nation, we continue to focus our efforts on identifying the best ways to prevent the chronic diseases that have the biggest impact on public health and put a fiscal strain on our health care system. We are pleased to be participating in the White House Conference on Aging and applaud the Administration for taking a step in the right direction to bring more attention to the importance of disease prevention, especially given that more adults than ever before are now living with multiple chronic conditions.

“Through partnerships forged over the past two years, the AMA is working to prevent type 2 diabetes and heart disease--two of the country’s leading causes of disability and death, particularly among older Americans--to ensure patients live richer and fuller lives. We’ve begun our efforts by focusing on the precursors to these diseases, prediabetes and high blood pressure.

“With more than 86 million Americans living with prediabetes and nearly 90 percent of them unaware of it, the AMA is working in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Y-USA to increase awareness of prediabetes, and to spread the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program to reach more people who have prediabetes and stop the progression to type 2 diabetes. Most recently, together, the AMA and CDC launched Prevent Diabetes STAT™ and are urging others to join this critical effort to help prevent diabetes before it starts.

“Additionally, the AMA is working to help the 30 million U.S. adults who have high blood pressure and a source of health care and yet do not have their blood pressure under control. Specifically, the AMA partnered with Johns Hopkins Medicine and ten physician practices in Illinois and Maryland to develop tools and resources that are being used by physicians and care teams throughout the country to help patients improve blood pressure control and reduce their risk for heart attack, stroke or death. These efforts will also help alleviate the $51 billion in annual national health care costs associated with high blood pressure.

“We will continue our strong commitment to improving the health of the nation by supporting efforts and advocating for policies that help reduce the burden of preventable diseases and reduce health care costs.”

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