Health

What’s Causing America’s Massive Epidemic Of Chronic Disease?

By March 2, 2020March 5th, 2020No Comments

Like never seen before, across our nation, is an epidemic of chronic health conditions. As far as we know, in the history of the human race, we’ve never experienced a chronic health crisis like this before, and I think it’s way past time that we drew some attention to the subject.

According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 80% of older adults now suffer from at least one chronic health condition, and 77% suffer from two or more conditions. (1)  And by the way, it doesn’t look good for the next generation either.  Some studies say that up to 54% of children today suffer from at least one chronic health condition. (2)

  • 80% of older adults suffer from a chronic health condition; 77% have two or more chronic health conditions, and 54% of children suffer at least one chronic symptom

Every year, 1.7 million Americans lose their lives to chronic diseases. (3) Two-thirds of those deaths are caused by four specific diseases – heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. (1) In fact, the World Health Organization says, “Ischemic heart disease and stroke are the worlds biggest killers, accounting for a combined 15.2 million deaths in 2016. These diseases have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last 15 years.” (4)

  • Every year, 1.7 million Americans die from chronic conditions, two-third of which are caused by four specific diseases. Heart disease and strokes account for 15.2 million lives death worldwide.

In a world of short attention spans and flash headlines, chronic diseases tend to take a backseat to breaking news on infectious diseases and “viral outbreaks” even though the actual number of casualties and overall damage done, is much smaller than that done by chronic conditions every year.

These numbers are not merely “statistics!”  Every statistic is a real person – a mother, a father, a family member, or a friend.  I lost my mother to diabetes and heart disease, and I promise you, she was not just a number.  She died of these chronic conditions at the young age of 47.  Chronic health conditions do not only affect the old anymore but all ages.

It’s time someone asks the question, “Why?” 

Why are more and more Americans dying from chronic conditions?  There has to be an answer to this question, and until we discover the answer, our society will continue to suffer unnecessarily.  We would all continue to suffer and lose loved ones to these conditions.  But I refuse to stand by and let that happen.  It’s time to fight back.

Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Dr.Tabor Smith, and I’m on a mission to help people find A Better Way.  A Better Way to regain and maintain their health.  Since my mother died over 20 years ago, I have devoted my life to the study of human health and longevity to ensure that the same doesn’t happen to you and me. 

I’ve developed four theories on WHY we have an epidemic of chronic disease in our country and what can be done about it to save the lives of millions of Americans within the next decade. 

I’ll lay each of them out in detail in this series of articles, but first, I want to make sure you understand what’s NOT causing this epidemic. 

It’s NOT a lack of medication…

So many people are waiting for the next “magic pill” that will cure their condition.  Look, I do hate to be the one to give you the bad news, but the magic pill does not (and probably will not ever) exist.

America, more than any other country, takes pills. America makes up about 5% of the world’s population; yet, we take over 50% of the world’s medications. Add that, when you look at the World Health Organization’s ranking of health systems (2000), we rank as far down as 37th for the overall health of our citizens. (6)

  • America makes up 5% of the entire world’s population yet takes over 50% of all the total prescribed drugs worldwide, and the overall health of American citizens ranks 37th in the world.

According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly 70% of Americans are already on at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two. Amazingly, up to 20% of patients are on five or more prescription medications, according to findings published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. (5)

  • 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, more than 50% are on two prescription drugs, and 20% of Americans take five or more prescription drugs.

The idea that we need more or even “better” medications to treat these devastating health conditions is a frivolous suggestion at best, and it simply won’t work.  Of course, this is the solution most big pharmaceutical companies want because it lines their pockets with cash, but it does little to actually correcting the cause of the problem.

There’s another thing that is definitely NOT causing the epidemic.

It’s NOT a lack of financial resources…

According to cms.gov, U.S. healthcare spending has risen year after year, now reaching upwards of $3.5 trillion or $10,739 per person, according to 2017 statistics. (7)  On average, other wealthy countries spend about half as much per person on health than the U.S. spends. (8)  So, obviously, we are spending a lot of money on health. Hence, the question is, “Where are we spending that money?” 

  • U.S. health care spending is upwards of $3.5 trillion per year, with $10,739 spent per person on healthcare. Other wealthy countries spend approximately half as much per person as the U.S.

Chronic diseases account for 75% of the money our nation spends on healthcare, yet only 1% of health dollars go to public efforts to improve overall health. (1) Most of the spending seems to go toward pharmaceutical costs and pills that only mask symptoms instead of solutions that get to the root cause of the problem.

  • 75% of the U.S. yearly healthcare budget is spent treating chronic diseases, but only 1% of the budget goes to public efforts to improve overall health.

What is the root cause of our problem, and how can we address it?  In the following series of articles, I’ll present to you my 4 theories of what’s causing our national health crisis (diet, exercise, toxins, and technology) and the evidence behind each theory.  Get ready to discover a new way of looking at your health and a new solution to what’s really causing your health problems.  What our country is doing right now is NOT working.  We must find A Better Way.

Resources:

  1. National Council on Aging – Approximately 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two. – https://www.ncoa.org/news/resources-for-reporters/get-the-facts/healthy-aging-facts/
  2. Children’s Health Defense – https://childrenshealthdefense.org/too-many-sick-children/
  3. An Empirical Study of Chronic Diseases in the United States: A Visual Analytics Approach to Public Health – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5876976/
  4. World Health Organization – Top 10 Causes of Death – https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death
  5. Nearly 7 in 10 Americans Take Prescription Drugs, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center Find – https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/nearly-7-in-10-americans-take-prescription-drugs-mayo-clinic-olmsted-medical-center-find/
  6. World Health Organizations ranking of the worlds health systems 2000 – https://photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html
  7. National Health Expenditures 2017 Highlights – https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/Downloads/highlights.pdf
  8. How does health spending in the U.S. compare to other countries? – https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/health-spending-u-s-compare-countries/#item-relative-size-wealth-u-s-spends-disproportionate-amount-health
  9. Western pattern diet – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_pattern_diet
  10. American adults are overweight or obese – http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/vast-majority-american-adults-are-overweight-or-obese-and-weight-growing-problem-among
  11. 6 charts that show how much more Americans eat than they used to – https://www.businessinsider.com/daily-calories-americans-eat-increase-2016-07
  12. How Much Sugar Do You Eat? You May Be Surprised! – https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/documents/sugar.pdf
  13. How Does Too Much Sugar Affect Your Body? – https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/how-sugar-affects-your-body
  14. Lack of exercise as ‘deadly’ as smoking – https://www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/lack-of-exercise-as-deadly-as-smoking/
  15. How Lack of Exercise Affects Health – https://www.priorityhealthyorkville.com/how-lack-of-exercise-affects-health/
  16. Environmental Toxins and Your Health – https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/transcripts/1622_environmental-toxins-and-your-health
  17. Vaccine Excipient Summary – https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/b/excipient-table-2.pdf
  18. Tech Neck – How Technology Is Affecting Your Posture – https://www.ivyrehab.com/news/tech-neck-how-technology-is-affecting-your-posture/
Tabor Smith

Author Tabor Smith

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