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CDC in Brief 2011

CDC Congressional E-Brief Banner

Prevention saves lives, and is a “best buy”—in many cases reducing long-term health costs and saving taxpayer dollars. Prevention is also good for business and the US economy, reducing employer costs and increasing US productivity. CDC’s work protects the public’s health and enhances prevention efforts.

CDC is at the center of the nation’s public health system, which protects communities by controlling outbreaks of disease; ensuring food and water are safe; preventing leading causes of death such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes; and working globally to reduce health threats.

  • CDC connects state and local health officials across the United States, recognizing patterns and making state responses to health problems more effective.
  • CDC and its state and local partners are key elements in homeland security, maintaining the ability to detect and respond to outbreaks and natural and man-made disasters.
  • CDC is a key source of evidence for health action – monitoring health, informing clinical and policy decision-making, and providing individuals the information they need to take responsibility for their own health.
  • CDC provides training, guidance, and support to state and local public health partners; for example, by ensuring that we have nationwide lab capacity for detection and response to health threats, and capacity to address key risk factors for premature death, injury, and disease.

The science on prevention: Prevention works in multiple settings—both public and private. Preventing disease will improve the health of all Americans, save healthcare costs and improve productivity. Click on each link that follows for examples of the evidence for prevention.

  • Increasing use of preventive services including tobacco cessation screening, alcohol abuse screening, and aspirin use, to 90% of the recommended levels, could save $3.7 billion annually.
  • Medical costs are reduced by approximately $3.27 for every dollar spent on workplace wellness programs, according to a recent study.
  • Indirect costs to employers of employee poor health include lower productivity, higher rates of disability, higher rates of injury, and more workers’ compensation claims—and can be 2–3 times the costs of direct medical expenses.
  • Absenteeism costs are reduced by approximately $2.73 for every dollar spent on workplace wellness programs, according to a recent study.
  • A modest reduction in avoidable risk factors could lead to a gain of more than $1 trillion annually in labor supply and efficiency by 2023, according to research from the Milken Institute.

Click the following for additional information on examples of CDC resources and scientific findings.

Image of man's torso overlaid with statistics about high blood pressure from CDC's Vital Signs publication.  Hyperlink to the High Blood Pressure issue of the Vital Signs publication.

Sign up for CDC's Vital Signs email updates! Hyperlink to the Vital Signs publication subscription page.

Map of United States showing grant funding and CDC installations and quarantine stations.  Hyperlink to the CDC FY2010 Grant Funding Profiles tool.

Fast facts about CDC.  Hyperlink to 'about CDC' website.

Table depicting progress toward Global Polio eradication and the dramatic reduction in Polio cases worldwide, 1985-2010. Hyperlink to information about CDC's global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Image of CDC's 34th Annual Health, US, 2010 report with a hyperlink to the report.

Image of a steering wheel, divided like a pie chart, showing the number of adolescent males killed in teen driving accidents compared to the number of adolescent females killed in teen driving accidents.  Hyperlink to information about teen driving safety.

Graphic showing the number of lives saved and the reduction in medical costs due to prevention of Healthcare Associated Infections, 2001-2009.  Hyperlink to CDC's March, 2011 Vital Signs publication on the progress made in preventing HAIs.

  • Page last reviewed: September 17, 2013
  • Page last updated: September 17, 2013
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