HEALTHCARE REALITY FACTS and FIGURES
The following figures underscore the serious health challenges we face as we age.
- According to the American Heart Association, approximately 1 million American adults die annually of heart attack.
- An estimated half million Americans suffer strokes annually, thirty percent of which result in death.
- According to the American Cancer Society, 1 out of every 3 Americans (more than 86 million Americans alive today, will get cancer.
- 1.35 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
- 538,000 Americans will die of cancer this year.
- Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the US.
- According to the Arthritis Foundation, 40 million Americans have arthritis.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, by 2020, 59.4 million Americans will have arthritis.
- According to the American Diabetes Association, 16 million Americans have diabetes.
- 800,000 diabetics are insulin – dependent.
- 400,000 people die each year from diabetes.
- Each year 625,000 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed.
- According to national health statistics, 62 percent of Americans are overweight. Many are obese, exceeding recommended weights by 25 percent or more.
- According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation, 4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
- 14 million Americans are expected to have Alzheimer’s by the year 2050.
- One in 10 persons over 65 develops Alzheimer’s.
- 50 percent of those over 85 develop Alzheimer’s.
Faced with the magnitude of such a great aging explosion, we can’t expect our medical system to be the our only solution in achieving optimum health and wellness, which is our birthright.
Health care in the U.S. is currently in crisis, and many people have lost confidence in medicine. Medical services are expensive, and insurance is becoming prohibitively costly.
The great majority of doctors are specialists in disease care, not in prevention and are primarily familiar with drugs and surgery. Thus preventing disease and designing programs to keep people healthy and well for life are largely enterprises outside of the medical realm.
Health is not a medical condition, and physicians are not the gatekeepers of health and wellness. We are our own gatekeepers.
Large numbers of people are venturing outside of the conventional medical establishment in a quest to manage and promote their own healthcare through culture, fitness for over all well being. They are becoming much more active in finding ways to deal with common ailments on their own.
This signifies a profound shift toward self directed health care. In response to this shift, medical educators are beginning to grapple with wellness and prevention as areas of medical specialty. This is critically important, for if physicians are going to play any significant future role in keeping our aging population healthy, they must be become astute specialists in prevention, healthcare culture, fitness and wellness.
Increasing Wellness Span
The shape of the future is ours to determine. Will we live to be energetic, healthy centenarians, or will we spend the last decades of our lives sick, incapacitated and institutionalized? The issue is one of wellness span.
Lifespan is how long you live. Wellness span is how long you stay well and healthy. Getting well is a necessity, not an option.
Health and wellness begin to decline at around age 40 when age-related degenerative conditions begin to take their toll. Our task is to extend fitness span to match life span, so we stay fit and healthy until we die.
In the quest for health, millions of Americans are turning to alternative and complementary therapies and products, including supplements, herbs, and homeopathic medicines.
News media are now promoting the safety, efficacy and overall wellness benefits of these programs and products, and scientists continue to affirm that these approaches impart real health benefits that treat ailments ranging from indigestion to allergies.
True health begins with prevention. To be healthy begins with having a “wellness mindset” that has a focus on having abundant energy and a feeling of being whole and intact. This requires a daily and consistent wellness maintenance program of exercise, sleep, drinking water, eating nutritious food, deep breathing,meditation, some fun and relaxation. These are the keys to having a long and healthy life.
Since this is an unchangeable fact of life, you might as well accept and dive into this endeavor wholeheartedly, with a galvanized and enthusiastic determination to stay healthy and well for as long as you live.