Chronic diseases are common and costly, yet they are also among the most preventable health problems. Comprehensive and accurate disease surveillance systems are needed to implement successful efforts which will reduce the burden of chronic diseases on the U.S. population. A number of sources of surveillance data--including population surveys, cohort studies, disease registries, administrative health data, and vital statistics--contribute critical information about chronic disease. But no central surveillance system provides the information needed to analyze how chronic disease impacts the U.S. population, to identify public health priorities, or to track the progress of preventive efforts. A Nationwide Framework for Surveillance of Cardiovascular and Chronic Lung Diseases outlines a conceptual framework for building a national chronic disease surveillance system focused primarily on cardiovascular and chronic lung diseases. This system should be capable of providing data on disparities in incidence and prevalence of the diseases by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region, along with data on disease risk factors, clinical care delivery, and functional health outcomes. This coordinated surveillance system is needed to integrate and expand existing information across the multiple levels of decision making in order to generate actionable, timely knowledge for a range of stakeholders at the local, state or regional, and national levels. The recommendations presented in A Nationwide Framework for Surveillance of Cardiovascular and Chronic Lung Diseases focus on data collection, resource allocation, monitoring activities, and implementation. The report also recommends that systems evolve along with new knowledge about emerging risk factors, advancing technologies, and new understanding of the basis for disease. This report will inform decision-making among federal health agencies, especially the Department of Health and Human Services; public health and clinical practitioners; non-governmental organizations; and policy makers, among others.
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