Five Measures for Preventing 100,000 American Deaths a Year

New research by the Partnership for Prevention suggests that over 100,000 Americans lives could be spared each year by increasing five preventive steps. The report claims that there are serious shortcomings in disease prevention across the US, especially for ethnic minorities. The greatest preventive impact would be 45,000 lives saved from more adults taking a daily low dose of aspirin to prevent heart disease. Smoking cessation would save 42,000 lives. Adults having regular annual cancer screenings would save 14,000 lives a year. For adults aged 50 of over, an annual flu shot would save 12,000 more lives. Additionally, nearly 4,000 lives would be saved by increasing the number of women aged 40 or over who have been screened for breast cancer in the past two years. The report also suggests that 30,000 cases of pelvic inflammatory disease could be prevented if sexually active young women were screened for chlamydial infection in the past year.

The Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Julie Gerberding claims, "If more people took preventive actions, more illnesses would be avoided, fewer lives would be lost, and there would be more efficient use of our limited health care resources." The report also revealed minorities to be at the greatest risk.

Hispanic smokers are 55 percent less likely to seek professional help for smoking cessation compared to whites, and Asian Americans have the lowest usage rate for the low dose aspirin method of heart disease prevention, as well as breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings. The Partnership for Prevention states that we need to strengthen the US health system by investing more in preventing disease.


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