Preventing heart disease before it starts is a good long-term investment in the health of our nation. A new policy statement published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, points out the cost-effectiveness and value of community-based changes to make it easier to live a healthy lifestyle. The call to action puts an equal amount of responsibility on individuals and on society — specifically federal, state and local policy-makers.
The statement summarizes years of research on the value of investing in prevention:
- Every dollar spent on building trails for walking or biking saves $3 in medical costs.
- Companies that invest in workers’ health with comprehensive worksite wellness programs and healthy work environments have reduced absenteeism, greater productivity, and lower health care costs.
- Initiating a nationwide plan to drastically cut the amount of salt in the food supply to 1500 mg per day may reduce high blood pressure in the country by 25 percent, saving $26 billion in healthcare costs annually.
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