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NCPPA member, Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) recently released a new report that highlights a variety of evidence-based disease prevention programs that have shown results for improving health and reducing costs in communities. The Compendium of Proven Community-Based Prevention Programs report includes a summary and examples from an extensive literature review that NYAM conducted of peer reviewed studies evaluating the effectiveness of community-based disease prevention programs designed to (among others) increase physical activity, reduce tobacco use, and/or improve eating habits. "Heart disease, stroke, and diabetes account for 36.6 percent of deaths in the United States, but this could be significantly reduced by changing just three risk factors - decreasing smoking, increasing exercise, and improving healthy eating," said Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, President of NYAM. "Despite the high rates of preventable death, investment in prevention has been historically modest in this country, accounting for only four percent of all health care expenditures. The good news is that community-based prevention programs work. Well-designed community interventions can change behavior. They help people take responsibility for their health and make healthy choices that reduce both the incidence and severity of disease."
"To really reform health in the United States, we must actively find ways to lower disease rates. The evidence is clear that prevention is the key to better health. Well-designed and well-implemented community-based disease prevention programs, like those called for in the House Tri-Committee and Senate HELP draft health reform bills, could have a major impact on improving the health of millions of Americans," said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. "A smart National Prevention Strategy coupled with an investment fund for community-based prevention programs would allow millions of additional Americans to benefit from proven prevention programs that could spare people from needless suffering and trips to the doctor's office."