Chronic Health Problems in Americans

Monday, January 02, 2017

A study by Georgia researchers has found that more than 50 percent of Americans are dealing with either chronic disease, mental illness or substance abuse issues. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the studys findings in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

More than half of Americans have at least one chronic disease, mental illness or problem with drugs or alcohol, one study has concluded.

Researchers examined public health records to find out what percentage of U.S. adults have chronic medical conditions, mental illness or substance abuse problems, and how many were also living in poverty.

Chronic medical conditions included asthma, cirrhosis, diabetes, heart disease, hepatitis, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, lung cancer, pancreatitis and stroke.

The study found that nearly 40 percent had at least one chronic medical condition. About 18 percent had been diagnosed with a mental illness in the past year, and about 9 percent abused drugs or alcohol.

Overall, about 15 percent of those studied were living in poverty. Among those with chronic conditions, many had less than a high school education, were unemployed, were receiving government aid and had no health insurance.

Researchers emphasized that people with multiple health issues need more access to care and better coordination among their health care providers.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.