Increase in preventive care would reduce U.S. deaths by more than 100,000
More than 100,000 lives would be saved annually if U.S. residents increased the use of five preventive services, according to a report by the Partnership for Prevention, Reuters reports. [Houston Chronicle, Aug. 8, 2007]
Findings include how many lives could be saved if low-dose aspirin use among adults were increased; if smokers were advised by physicians to quit and were offered prescription drugs and other services to help; if more adults were screened for colorectal cancer; if more received annual influenza vaccinations; and if all women older than age 40 received regular breast cancer screenings.
The report also found racial disparities in the use of preventive care. Hispanic smokers were 55% less likely than white smokers to receive help to quit smoking, and Asian-Americans were less likely than all other racial groups to take aspirin and get screened for colorectal and breast cancer, according to the report.
Kathleen Toomey of CDC, which helped fund the study along with the WellPoint Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said, "To actually implement this and have the impact of saving 100,000 lives will really require a multipronged approach, with public health taking the lead." She added, "Our nation has never truly invested in prevention" (Steenhuysen, Reuters, 8/7).