Americans have greater access to health knowledge than ever before, but something is backfiring when it comes to the health status of nearly half of the population.
Chronic diseases have taken over as the primary health concern in the United States and continue to be the leading cause of death. They annually claim the lives of seven out of ten Americans.
According to Zero Hedge, the prevalence of these conditions has increased dramatically over the past decade, creating a healthcare and economic crisis that affects nearly half of all Americans. By 2030, the number of Americans with at least one chronic illness is projected to exceed 170 million.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the primary contributors to this subset of “lifestyle diseases” are tobacco use, inadequate nutrition, inactivity, and excessive alcohol consumption. The elderly population and adults are not the only age categories experiencing growth.
According to the CDC, more than 40 percent of children and adolescents presently have at least one chronic illness.
In addition, the tidal surge of chronic diseases has coincided with a sharp increase in the consumption of ultra-processed foods over the past two decades.
In 2018, 57 percent of America’s daily caloric came from ultra-processed foods, according to a study conducted over the course of 18 years and published by the New York University.
During the duration of the research, an additional 15 million individuals developed chronic diseases. According to medical experts, this is not a coincidence.
The transition from acute to chronic ailments as the leading health concern in the United States began in the 1950s. Some researchers blame a sluggish medical industry for the present health crisis.
A 2020 study published in the National Library of Medicine summarized, “The medical profession and its leadership did not recognize or respond appropriately to the rising prevalence of chronic disease. As a consequence, a health care crisis emerged, with inadequate access to care and quality of care, together with excessive costs.”
Some chronic diseases, according to healthcare professionals, are the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet, and excessive tension. According to one study, chronic noncommunicable diseases account for 70 percent of all global fatalities each year. This includes conditions of varying severity, such as food allergies and cardiac disease.
These conditions are referred to as “lifestyle diseases,” and a number of them have a well-established cause-and-effect relationship with daily decisions. Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, certain malignancies, inflammatory conditions, and asthma are all “lifestyle diseases”
The cost burden of the circumstance is substantial. The spectrum of chronic diseases accounts for a disproportionately high proportion of U.S. healthcare expenditures. Chronic diseases account for 90 percent of the nation’s annual $4.1 trillion healthcare expenditures. This represents more than $3 trillion in annual direct costs alone.
Individually, the price tag does not appear more reasonable. Zero Hedge notes that estimates for the treatment and management of chronic conditions total more than $6,000 annually per patient.
Some chronic disease specialists and health practitioners say that figure is spot on, depending on the condition. “For example, if you have type 2 diabetes, you are often checking in with your provider every three months. Four visits a year, times $300 a visit, plus the amount spent for medications per month … quickly adds up,” nurse practitioner Lola MacLean told The Epoch Times.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
MacLean has worked in family and internal medicine for the past five years. In that time, she’s noticed a spike in the number of patients suffering from chronic conditions walk through the door. CONTINUE READING…