Health Care Cost Reduction – Key Study Findings

Calcium with Vitamin D: There is considerable evidence supporting the association between taking 1200 mg of calcium with vitamin D, reduced bone loss, and fewer hip fractures in elderly people. This results in not only a reduction in the cost of hospitalization to repair the hip, but also a reduction in the post-acute care in a skilled nursing facility and associated physician costs. We estimated that cost offsets (savings) could result from the potential avoidance of approximately 776,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures over five years, and avoidance of admissions to skilled nursing facilities for some proportion of these. The five year (2008-2012) estimated cost effect to Medicare associated with avoided hip fractures is approximately $16.1 billion. See Table 1.

Omega-3 fatty acids: We estimate that over five years (2008-2012), approximately 374,301 hospitalizations for coronary heart disease (CHD) could be avoided through daily use of 1800 mg. of omega-3 fatty acids. 4 The cost effect to Medicare resulting from reduced hospital and physician expenditures could be approximately $3.2 billion. See Table 2.

Lutein with Zeaxanthin: Because the loss of central vision is widely considered to be a determinant of dependency in over-65 adults, our cost estimate is comprised of potential avoidance of the transition to dependence associated with the relative risk of AMD. Avoidance over five years (2008-2012) of a transition to dependence by 190,927 individuals taking 6-10 mg. of lutein with zeaxanthin daily could result in $3.6 billion in savings. See Table 3.

Folic Acid: Of the approximately 44 million American women of childbearing age who are currently not taking folic acid, if only 11.3 million began taking 400 mcg. of folic acid on a daily basis periconceptually, as many as 600 babies could be born without neural tube defects (NTDs), saving as much as $344,700,000 in lifetime healthcare costs for these children. Over five years, (2008-2012) approximately $1.4 billion could potentially be saved. See Table 4.

table 1

tables 2, 3 and 4

 

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4 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that consumer not exceed 3,000 mg. per day of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, with no more than 2000 mg. per day from a supplement.

 

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