慢性病是伊利诺伊州死亡和残疾的主要原因。Six common chronic diseases – cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and pulmonary conditions – account for the majority of the 10 leading causes of death in the state and affect more than 6.7 million Illinoisans, more than half its population (Illinois Center for Health Statistics). These conditions shorten lives, reduce quality of life and create considerable burden for caregivers. The human cost is enormous, but the economic cost also is great. Studies have found Illinois spends more than $12.5 billion a year in health care dollars to treat chronic diseases. The financial burden from the impact of lost work days and lower employee productivity during the same period resulted in an annual economic loss of $43.6 billion. These conditions also decrease human productivity. Over the course of three years (2006-2008), more than one million years of productive life was lost in Illinois due to chronic disease (Illinois Center for Health Statistics). Chronic diseases occur more often with age. With the aging of the baby boomer generation, Illinois will experience a dramatic increase in chronic disease in the next 20 years.