November 12, 2023
Life expectancy is a key indicator of a nation’s health and well-being. However, despite having similar resources to other developed countries, life expectancy has seen a concerning decline in America. Most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals U.S. life expectancy has declined to 76.4 years, the shortest in nearly two decades.
When compared with other high-income countries, the United States falls short. Premature deaths have reached historically high rates, and the U.S. has among the highest maternal and infant mortality rates among its counterparts.
Physicians and public health experts have identified chronic stress as not just a significant contributing factor to this life expectancy crisis but also a societal epidemic.
February 18, 2023
On February 3rd, close to 50 cars of a Norfolk Southern train were derailed near East Palestine, Ohio, causing long-lasting fires and releasing numerous hazardous chemicals in the area. Among them were vinyl chloride and benzene, both known carcinogens, as well as the highly flammable isobutylene, paint thinner additive ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, and the possible carcinogen ethylhexyl acrylate.
Since the derailment, subsequent public evacuation, and a “controlled” release of the chemicals followed by a lifting of the evacuation order, the town has seen an uptick in reports of concerning symptoms and animal illnesses. As a significant body of evidence proves, both short and long-term exposure to noxious chemicals can have significant health consequences. With symptoms ranging from headaches and nausea to dizziness and loss of consciousness, the list of patient cases associated with the derailment continues to grow – despite the purported dissipation of toxic fumes. And the long-term population health risk assessment remains to be determined.
This is just one recent example of toxin-related illness with far-reaching and wide-ranging implications. Albeit more acute in impact than most recently studied environmental health risks, the East Palestine train derailment contributes to the investigative work that reveals the hidden costs of the air we breathe and the elements we are inevitably exposed to. Recent research findings unveil even more health risks tied to climate change and pollution that pose an immeasurable threat, largely due to the scale of their reach and their inescapable nature.
February 25, 2022
The speed and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic response highlighted the fragmentation of current healthcare systems across the globe and how it significantly impairs the ability to respond effectively. Making matters worse, the impact of the pandemic on population health and the functionality of healthcare systems has been and will continue to be far-reaching and long-lasting.
As the world attempts to rebuild from the pandemic, many individuals are left with serious and lingering health issues that require immediate and consistent attention. Healthcare practitioners are now facing a rising prevalence of chronic disease, growing cases of long COVID infection, as well as pandemic-influenced mental, physical, and emotional crises.
Addressing the devastating psychological and physical aftereffects of the pandemic will require deviation from the current standard of medicine. An integrated approach to patient care heavily grounded in functional medicine is emerging as the solution to healing global public health and repairing the siloed structures of the healthcare industry.