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Letter: Small steps in health prevention works best

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I was pleased to read the balanced and fair look the Bemidji Pioneer Editorial Board gave to the looming question of health reform in this country and particularly in President Obama's new administration ("Health care reform now serious issue," March 6.)

It is absolutely true that America spends too much on health care, $2.2 trillion, but what is even more telling is that when you break that number down you see that fully 75 cents of every dollar spent on health care is spent on chronic disease. The figure increases for Medicaid and Medicare where 83 cents and 96 cents, respectively, of every dollar are spent on chronic diseases.

It order to control and ultimately reduce these costs, chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease must be managed and in the long run prevented. Most chronic diseases are preventable with only minor lifestyle changes. Simple steps like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and adding fruits and vegetables to one's diet can have a big impact on a person's health.

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease in Minnesota has been working to spread this message of prevention throughout the state. We urge people everywhere to take the small steps necessary to reduce their risk of chronic disease and in turn help reduce the burden of chronic disease on our health care system.

Roger Moe

Co-Chairman

Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease of Minnesota

St. Paul

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