Monthly Archives: December 2016

Life Expectancy & Longevity

Recent studies on mortality rates, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, reported a slight decrease in American life expectancy. The most recent decline before this was during the peak of H.I.V.-related deaths; yet this time, researchers have reported that a host of factors–including heart disease and other degenerative disorders–are the culprits.

Experts in health policy state that a 0.1 decrease is alarming, as life expectancy is generally consistent and predictable in its gradual increase. The culmination of problems that spurred the decline included a 15.7 percent increase in deaths from Alzheimer’s, and the inherent mortality rates that accompany increased rates of obesity.

At A4M, our overarching mission is to treat, diagnose, and ultimately prevent diseases associated with aging, in addition to providing educational awareness regarding wellness, nutrition, and the ways in which to remain healthy. Join us in our effort to achieve these goals, and solidify your commitment to making a difference in medicine.

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Chronic Disease: Continued

A recent new report published by Trust for America’s Health reveals that most states score low in terms of public health preparedness, despite alarming statistics that indicate the emergence of one new contagious disease each year–impacting millions of people across the country.

These nationwide major weaknesses are most evident when assessing whether health care systems are able to care for a mass influx of patients during a pandemic, a major outbreak, or attack. Only ten states have instituted formal programs for funneling private-sector medical staff, supplies, and resources into restricted areas during disasters.

The lack of coordinated biosurveillance systems, coupled with dwindling hospital emergency preparedness funds, help explain why only ten states vaccinated at least half of their respective populations against the seasonal flu during the last season.

The potential of dangerous viruses and other biological agents require increased oversight, in addition to upgrading infrastructure and technology. The lack of an overarching strategic approach furthers the challenges in caring for patients during a mass event.

Authors of the publication reported that a severe new flu pandemic could cost the nation more than $680 billion, with the potential to completely disrupt the global economy. Lead authors recommend that regions, states, and communities develop strong, reliable baseline public health capacities through a consistent and coordinated planning approach. Ultimately, investing in both prevention and ‘effective standing response capabilities’ can help avoid exorbitant costs in both dollars and lives.

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The Cost of Chronic Disease

The primary issue that consumes approximately 86% of healthcare costs in the United States is avoidable chronic disease: while the most prevalent health conditions are simultaneously the most preventable, they continue to cost the country’s budget billions of dollars.

While overall numbers have decreased since 2010, when chronic disease cost the U.S. a total of $315 billion, morbid obesity rates have continued to rapidly spike—a condition that leads to a range of critical health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

In large part due to increased public awareness, three of the five leading causes of death have declined, yet the trend of chronic disease is still disconcerting and dangerous. Almost half of all adults in the U.S. have a serious health condition, while 31 million Americans over age 50 are at great risk of contracting a chronic illness because of sedentary inactivity and lack of proper nutrition.

Being conscious of medicinal needs and treatments requires a consistently high level of responsibility and awareness. Healthcare experts urge patients to take active, informed roles in managing their health: online workshops have been developed to offer chronic disease self-management programs, which have been proven to significantly improve health status. Moreover, healthcare practitioners and professionals must collectively work together and cooperate with patients in order to create effective health plans, and communicate the ways in which to incorporate nutrition, health, and wellness into their lifestyles.

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