Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

01 December 2016

More Than Half of Americans Have Chronic Illnesses


"Exposure to environmental factors that may cause chronic illness may begin even before birth."

More Than Half of Americans Have Chronic Illnesses
by Dr. Mercola, 30 November 2016
  • Americans spend more than 17 percent of the annual GDP on health care costs, equating to over $9,500 per capita, without experiencing good results
  • Over half of U.S. citizens suffer from chronic illness, infants are born with toxins already in their bloodstream and adults are sicker and more economically disadvantaged than 10 other developed countries
  • With rising costs predicted for the coming decade, access to a health care system designed to manage disease may not be the answer when preventive strategies can reduce your potential for disease and your costs

The cost of health care in the U.S. jumped to over 17 percent of the GDP in 2015.1However, even though the U.S. tops $3 trillion in spending on health care each year, it is the worst performing system ranked by multiple aspects of care.2

Americans spend, on average, over $9,500 per capita on healthcare. This is the highest amount spent over 11 developed countries, but the U.S. ranks 11th in terms of health. The most glaring difference is that the last ranked U.S. per capita expenditure is more than double that of the first ranked expense in the U.K.

Not only is healthcare in the U.S. more expensive, less effective and performs poorly when compared to other countries, recent research demonstrates half of Americans are living with chronic illness.

Although the study included only a particular group of physical illnesses that create chronic problems, results show half of the population is living with a continuing health problem.

Research Demonstrates Rising Numbers of People With Chronic Illness

Researchers from Emory University scrutinized public health records to determine the number of individuals living with a chronic health problem, substance abuse problem or mental health disability, and how these conditions may be related to living in poverty.3

They found more than half of Americans are living with at least one chronic illness, a substance abuse problem or a mental health condition.

According to study authors Elizabeth Reisinger Walker, Ph.D., assistant research professor and Dr. Benjamin Druss, professor at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University:4

"The health of individuals in the U.S.A. is increasingly being defined by complexity and multi-morbidity, the co-occurrence of two or more chronic medical conditions.”

Overall, the study revealed 18.4 percent of adults have suffered with a mental illness in the past year and 8.6 percent of those have reported a substance abuse or dependence during the same time. Nearly 40 percent of the records studied had one or more chronic medical conditions.5

The researchers acknowledge some limitations to the study, but point out overlapping conditions contribute to multi-morbidity and poor health in the U.S.6

According to the report, the study included only the following chronic conditions in their calculations. If other chronic health conditions were to be included, it would likely increase the percentage suffering from chronic disease.

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