The available evidence suggests that prevention is unlikely to reduce total health expenditures, as the additional spending by survivors will generally exceed whatever reduction in costs is achieved for the particular disease or condition being prevented (e.g., obesity). Here is a sample of the best literature demonstrating this proposition:
- Russell LB. Preventing chronic disease: an important investment, but don’t count on cost savings. Health Aff (Millwood). 2009;28(1):42–45.
- Kahn R, Robertson RM, Smith R, Eddy DM. The impact of prevention on reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 2008;118(5):576–585.
- van Baal PH, Polder JJ, de Wit GA, et al. Lifetime medical costs of obesity: prevention no cure for increasing health expenditure. PLoS Med. 2008;5(2):e29.
- Cohen JT, Neumann PJ, Weinstein MC. Does preventive care save money? Health economics and the presidential candidates. N Engl J Med. 2008;358(7): 661–663.