Data Study on Chronic Disease and the Emphasis on Prevention

Posted on Oct 23, 2016
The skills the author demoed here can be learned through taking Data Science with Machine Learning bootcamp with NYC Data Science Academy.


Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are among the most common and costly health problems. According to data from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), โ€œhalf of all American adults have at least one chronic condition and almost one of three have multiple chronic conditionsโ€. Apart from the cost burden, heart disease and cancer are the top one and two causes of death in the country.

While, diabetes ranks a little lower as top killer (#7 in 2011), its cost burden and effect on patientsโ€™ quality of life make it a top concern for physicians. For these reasons in 2014 the CDC released a study on the national indicators of chronic diseases and some of the findings are cause for concern.


Cancer: The average mortality due to different cancer types (over the years 2008-2012) show that lung cancer is the most lethal form (Figure 1).

Data Study on Chronic Disease and the Emphasis on Prevention

Figure 1

Unfortunately, there is no routine screening protocol for lung cancer and the disease is not uncovered until the patient has symptoms. For many types of cancer, early detection can be a vital factor in determining if the patient survives. This is the case for female breast cancer, which is shown to have the second highest mortality rate. Early detection of breast cancer is achieved through routine mammography screening.

Unfortunately, the indicators show that the use of mammography among the most vulnerable age group of women, ages 50-74, has gone down from 2012 to 2014. The reason for this is not clear, and further research is needed. It is possible that there has been a change in the how insurance companies cover mammography screening.


Diabetes: The indicator for the prevalence of diabetes may also be following an unfavorable trend. The percent of adults diagnosed with diabetes went up in 2014 compared to the two previous years (Figure 2).

Data Study on Chronic Disease and the Emphasis on Prevention

Figure 2

However, there is a caveat here. ย The year 2014 was also the first year of national open enrolment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Hence, while the increase in diagnosis that year may be an indicator that more people are getting diabetes, at least some of the rise in diabetes diagnoses in 2014 may be due to the fact that more people were insured and were getting tested that year. One of the striking trends in the prevalence of diabetes is the strong geographical factor.

Figure 3 shows that the percent of the adult population that have diabetes by state, varies drastically on location. ย An adult living in West Virginia is twice as likely to develop diabetes as one living in Utah. Hence, when it comes to diabetes, where you live matters! This trend underscores the fact that type-2 diabetes is preventable and that changes in diet and lifestyle can have a big effect on the chance of developing the disease.

Cardiovascular Disease: The number of deaths in the country from cardiovascular disease has been steadily climbing since 2011 (Figure 2).

Figure 3

Figure 3

However, like diabetes, where you live matters. Also, when comparing the map of the prevalence of diabetes with the map of the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, some connections arise. Particularly, the states that had the highest rates of diabetes also showed some of the highest rates in cardiovascular disease. However, the converse relationship does not hold. For example, Michigan has a high rate of cardiovascular disease but not of diabetes.

While, the national chronic disease indicators show a number of disheartening trends, it is important to emphasize that we can do something about them. Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease can in many cases be prevented with proper alterations in diet and lifestyle.ย ย  Cancer mortality can be reduced by diligent screening. Chronic diseases, more than any other ailments, can be attacked by concentrating on the prevention side of the medical equation. And a sustainable national healthcare policy must underline this approach.

About Author

Leave a Comment

No comments found.

View Posts by Categories

Our Recent Popular Posts

View Posts by Tags

#python #trainwithnycdsa 2019 2020 Revenue 3-points agriculture air quality airbnb airline alcohol Alex Baransky algorithm alumni Alumni Interview Alumni Reviews Alumni Spotlight alumni story Alumnus ames dataset ames housing dataset apartment rent API Application artist aws bank loans beautiful soup Best Bootcamp Best Data Science 2019 Best Data Science Bootcamp Best Data Science Bootcamp 2020 Best Ranked Big Data Book Launch Book-Signing bootcamp Bootcamp Alumni Bootcamp Prep boston safety Bundles cake recipe California Cancer Research capstone car price Career Career Day citibike classic cars classpass clustering Coding Course Demo Course Report covid 19 credit credit card crime frequency crops D3.js data data analysis Data Analyst data analytics data for tripadvisor reviews data science Data Science Academy Data Science Bootcamp Data science jobs Data Science Reviews Data Scientist Data Scientist Jobs data visualization database Deep Learning Demo Day Discount disney dplyr drug data e-commerce economy employee employee burnout employer networking environment feature engineering Finance Financial Data Science fitness studio Flask flight delay gbm Get Hired ggplot2 googleVis H20 Hadoop hallmark holiday movie happiness healthcare frauds higgs boson Hiring hiring partner events Hiring Partners hotels housing housing data housing predictions housing price hy-vee Income Industry Experts Injuries Instructor Blog Instructor Interview insurance italki Job Job Placement Jobs Jon Krohn JP Morgan Chase Kaggle Kickstarter las vegas airport lasso regression Lead Data Scienctist Lead Data Scientist leaflet league linear regression Logistic Regression machine learning Maps market matplotlib Medical Research Meet the team meetup methal health miami beach movie music Napoli NBA netflix Networking neural network Neural networks New Courses NHL nlp NYC NYC Data Science nyc data science academy NYC Open Data nyc property NYCDSA NYCDSA Alumni Online Online Bootcamp Online Training Open Data painter pandas Part-time performance phoenix pollutants Portfolio Development precision measurement prediction Prework Programming public safety PwC python Python Data Analysis python machine learning python scrapy python web scraping python webscraping Python Workshop R R Data Analysis R language R Programming R Shiny r studio R Visualization R Workshop R-bloggers random forest Ranking recommendation recommendation system regression Remote remote data science bootcamp Scrapy scrapy visualization seaborn seafood type Selenium sentiment analysis sentiment classification Shiny Shiny Dashboard Spark Special Special Summer Sports statistics streaming Student Interview Student Showcase SVM Switchup Tableau teachers team team performance TensorFlow Testimonial tf-idf Top Data Science Bootcamp Top manufacturing companies Transfers tweets twitter videos visualization wallstreet wallstreetbets web scraping Weekend Course What to expect whiskey whiskeyadvocate wildfire word cloud word2vec XGBoost yelp youtube trending ZORI