The Fight Against Chronic Disease

Eli Lilly and Company recently unveiled a small tool aimed at battling a big problem – chronic disease. Lilly’s free pocket-sized health book, A Healthy You! – America’s Guide to Healthy Living, puts useful tips and resources in the hands of Americans to help them lead a healthy life and prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The Problem
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Web page on chronic disease states, “The United States cannot effectively address escalating health care costs without addressing the problem of chronic diseases.”(1) Chronic disease is a problem that has reached alarming proportions in our country. According to the CDC, chronic diseases account for 70 percent of all deaths in the U.S. — 1.7 million each year.(2) These diseases also cause major limitations in daily living for almost one out of 10 Americans or about 25 million people.(3)

While chronic disease impacts millions of individual Americans, it also lays a heavy financial burden on our nation as a whole. The medical care costs of people with chronic diseases account for more than 75 percent of the nation’s $1.4 trillion medical care costs.(4) With its dominant role in our nation’s medical care costs, chronic disease contributes greatly to the alarming rise in health care costs.

Guide Book to Better Health
A Healthy You! – America’s Guide to Healthy Living is aimed at addressing the effects of poor health in our country. The book is available in English and Spanish and includes an extensive listing of specific resources in each state where people can access useful programs and agencies in their area. The content of the book is also available online at www.lillyforbetterhealth.com. In addition, Lilly will distribute the book at health fairs and other events around the country.

“For the past 130 years, it has been Lilly’s mission to provide ‘Answers that Matter’,” said Jack Bailey, a vice president at Lilly. “Whether these answers are in the form of drugs that treat some of the world’s most urgent medical needs, disease management programs that improve patient care, or the general health care information found in our book, our goal is to help people live better lives,” Bailey said.

Prevention and Access
Helping people improve their health not only impacts their lives, it also has the potential to reverse the current trend of rising health care costs. “We believe that prevention and management of chronic diseases are viable options to manage rising health care costs while maintaining the access Americans have to vital medications and treatments,” said Bailey.

The CDC echoes the theme of prevention, indicating that although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems, they are also among the most preventable. According to the CDC, “much of the illness, disability, and death associated with chronic disease is avoidable through known prevention measures. Key measures include practicing a healthy lifestyle (e.g., regular physical activity, healthy eating and avoiding tobacco use) and the use of early detection practices (e.g., screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers, diabetes and its complications, and depression).”(5)

Inside Lilly’s free 148-page health resource book, readers will find information on each one of these key measures and more. Chapters include: Exercise and Nutrition; Children’s Health; Women’s Health; Men’s Health; Older Adults; Mental Health; Diabetes; Living Heart Healthy; Cancer Screening; Substance Abuse/Tobacco Cessation; Veterans Health; and Patient Assistance Programs.

“If you’ve ever tried to learn about a health care issue, you have probably found an endless stream of information and resources. While this is encouraging, it can also be overwhelming,” said Bailey. “That’s exactly why we created this free book: to make it simple for Americans to find the answers they need to lead healthy lives.”

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world’s most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com.

1 – Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/overview.htm, accessed January 2008
2 – Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov/nccdphp, accessed January 2008
3 – Ibid
4 – Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov/NCCdphp/overview.htm, accessed January 2008
5 – Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov/aging/, accessed January 2008



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