The Most Important Health Problems

In the United States, there are many diseases that affect the health of its citizens. Health problems come in many forms, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental illness, and physical disabilities.

Each year, millions of people suffer from these ailments and thousands of people die as a result of their illnesses or complications related to them.

There are hundreds of different health problems that plague Americans each year, but they all share one thing in common they can be overcome with the right treatment plan and attitude.

Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is responsible for 17.3 million deaths a year worldwide that’s one in every four deaths. That number is expected to increase to nearly 23 million by 2030.

Despite advances in treatment and prevention, global deaths from cardiovascular disease have grown over recent decades as populations grow older and obesity levels rise.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 30% and 50% of premature deaths from CVD are due to potentially modifiable risk factors like smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and physical inactivity.

While risk factors cannot be changed for people who already have heart disease or stroke and CVD remains one of humanity’s leading causes of death strategies for prevention can help save lives worldwide.

Cancer

It’s easy to think of cancer as a completely separate disease from other health issues. And yet, it exists within every cell of our bodies, and is therefore not just different in form but also its own unique class of health problem.

There are many types of cancer that manifest differently depending on your age and gender. For example, breast cancer is more prevalent among women while prostate cancer occurs more often among men. Other cancers can be grouped together by where they typically occur in your body such as lung or colon cancers.

But no matter what kind of cancer you have, there are a few standard ways to treat them using either surgery or radiation therapy with chemotherapy used when both fail or alongside them as an additional treatment plan.

Alzheimer’s Disease

This is a devastating, degenerative brain disease that attacks cognitive function. It is difficult to diagnose, as patients may have memory loss, but not other Alzheimer’s symptoms like confusion and difficulty communicating. By far, it’s also one of the most expensive diseases in America in fact, it’s estimated that $226 billion was spent on care in 2016 alone.

And while there are medications that can help some patients with Alzheimer’s disease symptoms like memory loss and hallucinations, they don’t slow or reverse the progression of dementia.

That said, research into new treatments is ongoing and scientists are hopeful about potential breakthroughs (here’s a look at what’s being done right now).

Stroke

According to a survey of American adults conducted by Gallup in 2013, more than one-third of Americans (36.5%) reported being obese. Since then, that number has increased to 39.8% according to data from 2016, as reported by CBS News. The same study found that 65.9% of adults are overweight or obese and over a third (35.7%) have tried losing weight within the past year but were unsuccessful at doing so.
It’s clear that Americans struggle with their weight and we’re already seeing an impact on our country’s health care system according to a recent report by GoBankingRates, America is predicted to spend $591 billion on obesity-related medical costs in 2019 $66 billion more than our nation spent in 2008.

Respiratory Conditions

These include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pulmonary fibrosis. In many parts of developing countries and in industrializing nations, these respiratory conditions affect more people than any other cause of death.

Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, respiratory conditions continue to take a high toll on lives: more than 4 million deaths per year worldwide are due to asthma alone.

Obesity

For a whole range of reasons, such as depression and other illnesses, an obese person is not satisfied with his or her appearance. This can lead to eating disorders and general apathy towards physical activity.

Obesity is considered one of the biggest social problems today. Adolescents who are overweight will become even more overweight when they grow up.

If obesity spreads among younger generations, it could result in future population growth falling below expectations because fewer people will be able to work physically demanding jobs.

Diabetes

Sugar makes our hunger cravings fluctuate quickly, meaning we end up consuming even more calories over the course of the day. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s a good idea to monitor your intake of sugar and refined carbs.

Infectious diseases (e.g., influenza, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B or C, tuberculosis, etc.)

Diseases are caused by infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi. There were 166 million new cases of HIV/AIDS in 2012 worldwide, for example. The diseases that cause the most deaths are non-communicable (e.g. cardiovascular disease and cancer) but those that cause less mortality can still result in high levels of sickness and disability (e.g., influenza).

In general, infectious diseases are more likely to kill people who already have weaker immune systems as a result of malnutrition or other conditions such as malaria or AIDS. Infectious diseases can also be caught in hospitals so they can affect anyone regardless of their age, sex, or class background.

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