Policy Statements

Integrating Health Behavior Change into Primary Care
October 2008

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that in 2005, 133 million people, or almost half of all Americans, lived with at least one chronic condition, such as heart disease, various types of cancer, diabetes, chronic obstructive lung diseases, stroke, etc. The CDC also estimated that these chronic diseases account for 75% of the nation's $2 trillion medical care costs. Health behaviors (e.g., tobacco use, eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and alcohol use) account for a significant proportion of the reasons why individuals develop chronic diseases and how those diseases progress. Changing health behaviors is therefore critical to reducing health care costs. This policy brief highlights the evidence and need for integrating behavioral health in the primary care setting. [Read more >>]