Monday, May 25, 2009

Early Childhood Health Interventions Could Save Billions In Health Costs Later In Life

ScienceDaily (May 18, 2009) — Promoting the health of young children, before five years of age, could save society up to $65 billion in future health care costs, according to an examination of childhood health conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

"Our review found convincing evidence that the four health problems we studied—early life tobacco exposure, unintentional injury, obesity and mental health—constitute significant burdens on the health of preschool-age children and are antecedents of health problems across the life span," said Bernard Guyer, MD, lead author of the study and the Zanvyl Kreiger Professor of Children's Health with the Bloomberg School's Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health. "These health problems affect approximately one-third to one-half of children born in the U.S., and we estimated that total lifetime societal cost could be about $50,000 per child—which translates to $65—100 billion for the entire birth cohort of children. The currently available research justifies targeted investments in early childhood health promotion as a means to averting future health costs and improving overall health during their life span."

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