NCOA Chronic Disease Self-Management Fact Sheet


Management of chronic disease accounts for 75 percent of the money spent on health care annually, with $262 million spent in 2009 alone. To help older Americans cope with the management of chronic diseases, the National Council on Aging has partnered with Stanford University to create the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP).

Key Points

With the Boomer population projected to grow, management of chronic conditions (diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and lung disease) is not only an expensive undertaking, both personally and nationally, but a substantial factor in the overall quality of life for an individual. The CDSMP education course, offered both on-line and in person, provides older Americans with tools and resources to manage their chronic diseases. Results from this program show that participants improved their quality of life, improving seven out of nine health behavior variables, and also reduced medical costs.

Other plan highlights include:

  1. “91% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and 73% have at least two.” (page 1)
  2. “Four chronic conditions—heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes—cause almost two thirds of all deaths each year.” (page 1)
  3. Participants who completed the CDSMP saved on average approximately $600 from medical expenses.

How to Use

This fact sheet provides an overview of the chronic diseases, numbers of older Americans who are affected from the management of multiple chronic diseases, and a solution for self-management of these conditions. Older Americans and community health planners can use this article to provide resources to a proven-effective and cost-friendly program which will help reduce health expenses and improve independence for aging Boomers.

View full report: NCOA Chronic Disease Self-Management Fact Sheet (PDF – 112 KB)

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