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The Milken Institute study shows that states can take steps to check the problems from getting worse. It predicts that, in 2023, West Virginia will have 85,000 cancer cases, 19,000 of which can be avoided; 130,000 cases of diabetes, 20,000 of which can be avoided; 145,000 cases of heart disease, 77,000 of which can be avoided; 290,000 cases of hypertension, 67,000 of which can be avoided; 18,000 cases of stroke, 4,000 of which can be avoided; 254,000 cases of mental disorders, 36,000 of which can be avoided; and 383,000 cases of pulmonary conditions, 63,000 of which can be avoided.
On our present path, the total projected cost of chronic disease in 2023 would be $28.2 billion. Taking steps to reduce chronic disease would save the state $7.7 billion, or 27 percent, according to the study.
Nationally, the study forecasts the gross domestic product would benefit by taking steps to lessen the effects of chronic disease. Now, the country is on track for a $92 billion GDP in 2050. Reducing chronic disease would increase that figure by 18 percent to $108 billion in 2050, the report states.