The major public health achievements of the first 10 years of the 21st century included improvements in vaccine preventable and infectious diseases, reductions in deaths from certain chronic diseases, declines in deaths and injuries from motor vehicle crashes, and more, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 10 domestic public health achievements are published in the latest issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

One of the major findings in the report is that the United States has saved billions of dollars in healthcare costs as a result of these achievements. For instance, fortifying our foods with folic acid has resulted in a savings of over $4.6 billion over the past decade, by reducing neural tube defects in children. Continued investments will save more. For example, ensuring that all children are vaccinated with the current schedule could result in a savings of $20 billion in healthcare costs over the lifetime of those children. Preventing motor vehicle crashes could save $99 billion in medical and lost work costs annually and the economic benefit of lowering lead levels among children by preventing lead exposure is estimated at $213 billion per year.

Learn more about the CDC science and programmatic work that went in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.