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WASHINGTON — Use of specific dietary supplements in targeted populations not only provides health benefits, but also, according to a new economic report released Monday, offers significant savings for healthcare costs.
The report, “Smart Prevention—Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements,” issued by the economic firm Frost & Sullivan through a grant from the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation, examined four different chronic diseases and the potential for healthcare cost savings when U.S. adults 55 years and older, diagnosed with these chronic diseases, used one of eight different dietary supplement regimens.
It demonstrated that supplementation at preventive intake levels in high-risk populations can reduce the number of disease-associated medical events, representing the potential for hundreds of millions — and in some cases, billions — of dollars in savings.
“Chronic disease takes a huge toll on people’s quality of life, and the healthcare system spends a tremendous amount of money treating chronic disease, but has failed to focus on ways to reduce those costs through prevention,” stated Steve Mister, president of the CRN Foundation. “We already knew that the dietary supplements identified in the report can play a role in reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases; we felt compelled to find out if they could also contribute to healthcare cost savings by reducing the medical events associated with those conditions. This new report says emphatically that they do.”
“I anticipate this report will fuel the critical conversation around the importance of preventive healthcare practices to control healthcare spending, and the critical role dietary supplements can play in reducing the risk of medical events associated with these diseases," said Chris Shanahan, global program manager of Frost & Sullivan. “This report provides one more reason for doctors and other healthcare practitioners to open a dialogue with their patients about incorporating supplement usage along with other healthy behaviors. For consumers, it’s a wakeup call to talk to their doctor or nurse practitioner, their pharmacist or a registered dietician about smart prevention, including which dietary supplements and what intake levels are right for their individual lifestyle."