In the U.S., 75% of healthcare dollars go to the treatment of chronic disease, with only 3% spent on prevention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Medical events (i.e., inpatient procedures and emergency room visits) related to coronary heart disease, one of the conditions examined in this report, are expected to cost $77.92 billion per year. However, according to the new Frost & Sullivan report, if men and women 55 years and older with elevated cholesterol levels took psyllium dietary fiber at preventive intake levels daily, the cost savings for coronary heart disease could be almost $2.5 billion dollars a year, equating to just less than $19.9 billion in cumulative net savings between 2013 and 2020. Similarly, if all women over 55 with osteoporosis took calcium and vitamin D at preventive intake levels daily, society could save $1.5 billion dollars a year, or just more than $12 billion dollars between 2013 and 2020.
To identify these potential savings, Frost & Sullivan conducted a systematic review of hundreds of scientific studies on eight dietary supplement regimens across four diseases to determine the reduction in disease risk from these preventive practices. The firm then projected the rates of medical events across the high-risk populations and applied cost benefit analyses to determine the cost savings if people at high risk took supplements at preventive intake levels.
“As an economist in the face of escalating healthcare costs,” said Chris Shanahan, global program manager, Frost & Sullivan, “it’s rewarding to reveal good news for healthcare practitioners, public policy officials, insurance companies and patients that select supplement interventions can reduce the chances of experiencing a costly medical event and help control rising healthcare costs.”