According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the burden of chronic diseases is tremendous:
It is estimated that 3 in 4 adults over age 65 and 1 in 15 children suffer from two or more chronic medical conditions — such as diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and chronic pain. As patients develop more chronic conditions, they are likely to use more health care services and suffer negative outcomes such as unnecessary hospitalizations, adverse drug reactions, declining functional status, and mortality. These growing problems emphasize the need for more research to improve health outcomes of patients with multiple chronic conditions.
NIH recently awarded over $19 million to various health care systems over 5 years to address management of chronic conditions. Here is the issue, though: promoting research into improving situation of patients with multiple chronic conditions does not address the fact of how miserably we failed at preventing these very same conditions from occurring. It perpetuates the notion of health as an accident. After all, with nearly 75% of adults over 65 and almost 10% of all children afflicted with two or more chronic conditions, one would certainly take it as a norm that nearly everyone should be experiencing these outcomes!
Nothing can be further from the truth. Health is not an accident. Many of my patients take great pride in their daily efforts directed at preserving their vitality, wellness and freedom from disease. No, do not expect medical insurance companies to pay physicians or help patients to meaningfully engage in such preventive efforts. This decision is up to you. Ask yourself: do you want to be one of the statistic referenced above? Or do you want to commit to a path of wellness that promotes more than accidental health?
At the Integrative Cardiology Center of Long Island, we have created cutting-edge, one-of-a-kind programs that help you in your quest. Contact us to learn more, sign up for the newsletter, or return to this blog for more.