Prevention & Wellness Services

Giving people the tools to stay healthy is as important as helping them when they are sick. By encouraging healthy lifestyles, we can help reduce preventable diseases. 

Her HeartBeat comes alongside the doctor to help with behavior modification to make prevention activities a part of an individuals life. We work in conjunctions with doctors or with an individual that reaches out to begin addressing prevention issues on their own.

Prevention and wellness include healthy behaviors such as:

  • eating a well balanced diet
  • regular physical activity
  • annual doctors visits for physical examinations
  • following a doctor’s directions, like advice to stop smoking, losing a few pounds, exercise a little more and eating healthier.

Preventing Chronic Disease

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that chronic diseases, most of which are preventable, accounted for 75 percent of the $2 trillion spent on health care in 2005. Yet, less than $10 per person per year is spent on preventive health care in the U.S.

Studies have shown that chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, are more common in the U.S. compared to European countries. This is partly because more Americans than Europeans practice unhealthy behaviors. For example, 33 percent of Americans are obese, compared to 17 percent in Europe. Fifty-three percent of Americans are smokers, while only 43 percent of Europeans smoke.1

Americans, Europeans and people around the world can help prevent chronic diseases by developing healthy habits early. It’s also important to maintain those habits even when sick. That’s because a healthy lifestyle can help slow down the advance of illness, even if it doesn’t prevent it altogether. The CDC estimates that 40 percent of cancer, as well as 80 percent of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, could be prevented if Americans exercised more, stopped smoking, and ate healthier.4

The Growing Chronic Disease Epidemic

What are chronic diseases?

Chronic diseases are ongoing illnesses that are typically incurable, such as heart disease, asthma, cancer and diabetes. Many chronic diseases are preventable and can be managed by mitigating risk factors, making lifestyle and dietary changes when necessary, and following prescribed treatment regimens.

Chronic diseases cost lives and reduce quality of life.

Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, chronic diseases inflict 45 percent of the American population and are responsible for 70 percent of deaths.

According to the World Health Organization, chronic disease is responsible for 60 percent of all deaths worldwide. Eighty of all chronic disease related deaths occur in developing and middle- income countries.

People with chronic diseases often suffer from reduced quality of life. For example, progression of diabetes can result in amputation of lower limbs, and asthma can limit a patient’s ability to participate in recreational activities.

Impact of chronic diseases on health care systems and economies. 

Chronically ill patients use the U.S. health care system more frequently than any other group, accounting for:

• 81% of hospital admissions 
• 76% of physicians visits • 91% of all prescriptions filled
• 75% of the $2 trillion spent on health care in 2005 in the United States
• 96% of Medicare spending
• 83% of Medicaid spending3

Risk Factors for Chronic Disease

The major risk factors for chronic disease are: an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and smoking. If these factors were eliminated, at least 80 percent of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes would be prevented, as well as 40 percent of cancer. However, without action, 17 million people will die prematurely this year from a chronic disease.

1 Thorpe, K. et al. “Differences in Disease Prevalence as a Source of the U.S.–European Health Care Spending Gap.” Health Affairs (Web Exclusive) Oct. 2, 2007. Available at http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/hlthaff.26.6.w678
2 Ozminkowski, et al. “Long-Term Impact of Johnson & Johnson Health & Wellness Program on Health Care Utilization and Expenditures.” JOEM Vol 44, January 2002. Available http://healthproject.stanford.edu/koop/Johnson%20and%20Johnson/pdf/Utilization%20 and%20Expenditure.pdf
3 Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease at www.fightchronicdisease.org/crisis/what/ index.cfm
4 The World Health Organization at www. who.int/features/factfiles/chp/01_en.html