Chronic Diseases in Oklahoma Are Common, Costly, and Can Be Reduced Through Exercise, Good Nutrition and Access to Health Care
LAWTON, OK – During the week of October 17-21, MainStreet Clinic joins the Society for Public Health Education to promote National Health Education Week to raise public awareness of the importance of
- exercise and physical activity,
- good nutrition and
- access to health care
in the prevention of chronic diseases.
Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, can be very costly, disabling and deteriorate the quality of life, especially when undiagnosed or untreated.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Public Health: “Chronic disease is the most common and costly of all health problems. A person’s risk of developing a chronic disease can be greatly reduced by avoiding tobacco, being physically active and eating well. However, individual behavior is not enough. Access to affordable health care saves lives, reduces disability, prevents hospitalizations and lowers medical costs.”
Today, more than half of adults aged 18 years or older did not meet recommendations for aerobic exercise or physical activity. More than one-third of adolescents and 38 percent of adults said they ate fruit less than once a day, while 38 percent of adolescents and 23 percent of adults said they ate vegetables less than once a day.
According to the Oklahoma Hospital Association, more than one in six or 17 percent of Oklahomans are uninsured and Oklahoma ranks seventh highest in the nation in percent of uninsured.
“Access to affordable primary care should not be a barrier to Oklahomans with limited or no health insurance. MainStreet Clinic membership is open to everyone with or without health insurance,” said Dr. Brian Birdwell.
MainStreet Clinic supports and collaborates with community non-profits including the Lawton Food Bank and the Lawton Family YMCA to promote consumer health education along with prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. And through a unique program named Care First Employee Benefits, MainStreet Clinic works with employers to offer clinic membership through employer group health plans.
About National Health Education Week
National Health Education Week (http://www.sophe.org/nhew.cfm) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and sponsored by the Society of Public Health Education, a non-profit professional organization founded in 1950 to provide leadership to the profession of health education and to promote health and wellness in the community. National Health Education Week is celebrated annually during the third week of October and focuses national attention on public health issues, provides public education, and improves consumer understanding of health education’s role in promoting public health.
The Chronic Disease Service of the Oklahoma State Department of Health can be reached at 405 271-4072 or 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117. The Chronic Disease in Oklahoma Data Book is available at https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/CDS-Chronic%20data%20book%20AUG2013.pdf.