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The State Of U.S. Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues an annual report on the state of health in the United States. The 33rd edition is out and has some surprising findings, especially about the use of procedures, tests and medical technology.

The life expectancy in the United States is now 77.9 years. Are you over that age? If so, congratulations — you beat the odds.

Mortality from heart disease, stroke and cancer continue to decline but the leading cause of death for people age 65 and older is still heart disease. The leading cause of death for people age 1 to 44 is unintentional injuries. I think that includes war, which always takes the young men.

Here are some findings that show how hard it will be to rein in healthcare costs:

  • The use of MRI, CT and PET imaging soared, especially in physician offices and outpatient departments.
  • Knee replacement surgery for people age 45 and older rose 70% in the last decade. Partial hip replacements increased by 60%
  • Drug-eluting stents were used in 75% of angioplasties. Everyone who has angioplasty seems to get a stent nowdays.
  • Assisted reproduction doubled during the past decade, especially on women over age 40.
  • The use of diabetes drugs for people age 45 and older increased by 50% and statins soared tenfold.
  • Outpatient upper endoscopies rose by 90% and colonoscopies tripled.

Mental illness was the 2nd leading chronic condition in adults age 18 to 44. Since serious mental illness like schizophrenia is not on the rise, could it be that our lifestyles and stress of modern living are affecting our emotions?

If you think about it, lifestyle changes can really impact our lives and our health. Eating healthy, exercising, relaxing, meditating, doing yoga or other activities have been proven over and over to be the antidote to modern illness. Stop the wars and put that money into education, school lunches, and fun physical education. I know it’s utopia, but I’d like to see this report in the future if we could accomplish that.

Watch Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” on ABC. This guy is trying to save America.

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

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