AMA Focuses on Preventing Chronic Diseases Impacting Seniors

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dr. Andrew Gurman, M.D., president-elect of the American Medical Assoc. (AMA), recently addressed efforts at the federal level to bring awareness to chronic-disease prevention.
“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 healthcare system” Gurman said. “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,” he continued, “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, pre-diabetes and high blood pressure.”
With more than 86 million Americans living with pre-diabetes and nearly 90{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} 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 pre-diabetes, and to spread the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program to reach more people who have pre-diabetes and stop the progression to type 2 diabetes, he explained. Most recently, the AMA and CDC launched a program called Prevent Diabetes STAT and are urging others to join this effort to 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 healthcare and yet do not have their blood pressure under control,” Gurman continued. “Specifically, the AMA partnered with Johns Hopkins Medicine and 10 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 healthcare costs associated with high blood pressure.”

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