Being one of the most progressive and advanced countries in the world, America has a highly advanced healthcare system with adept health professionals and a top-notch healthcare system. Excellent healthcare means a very healthy population, right? Alas! It’s not. Mostly thanks to new unhealthy lifestyle choices and dietary habits. In this article, let’s have a look at the top 10 health challenges faced by Americans.
Cardiovascular diseases comprise a group of ailments caused by disorders of the heart and blood vessels. It’s estimated that every 40 seconds, someone in America has a heart attack. Around 805,000 people each year in America suffer from heart disease.
Around 697,000 deaths per year can be attributed to it. That is approximately 1 in every 5 deaths. With an ever-increasing rate of diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and obesity, all risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, it is estimated to increase even more.
This is another serious health issue in America. Around 116 million people in America have hypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. This is almost half the population of America!
This is particularly frightening as hypertension brings along several other comorbidities like cardiovascular disorders, kidney diseases, strokes, dementia, etc.
Type 2 Diabetes
More than 37.5 million people in the US are reported to have diabetes, and around 95% of them are people with type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is typically observed in people above 40, but sadly more and more young population of the US are falling prey to this life-threatening ailment day by day.
According to the 2018 Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, around 1 in 3 adults in the US are overweight, and 2 in 5 have obesity. Speaking of children and adolescents, 1 in 5 have obesity.
Obesity has deeply rooted in the population of the US and is proving to be one of the most deadly health issues. Obesity also opens the door for other serious conditions like type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, osteoarthritis, high cholesterol, asthma, certain kinds of cancer, and sleep apnea.
For those who are new to this term, let us explain. Antibiotic resistance occurs when the infection-causing germs in your body resist the medications meant to kill them. This issue is not only confined to America but is one of the biggest health problems in the world.
The most common cause of this is the overuse of antibiotics. 2.8 million cases of antibiotic-resistant infections pop up each year in America. This very problem causes around 23,000 deaths each year.
Also Read: How To Restore Gut Health After Antibiotics
More than 6 million people in America have Alzheimer’s, according to a 2020 survey. Health experts believe this will triple and reach around 14 million by 2060.
While genetics plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of the disease, modern degrading lifestyles, and environmental conditions can also be blamed.
This isn't specifically a "current" health issue in America; it has been prevalent for quite a long. Substance abuse refers to the excessive use of psychoactive chemicals like alcohol, some medications, or illegal drugs. Since 2000, annual deaths from substance abuse have been approaching 1 million.
Around 11.7% of people in the US above the age of 12 seem to be regular users of illegal drugs. Just in the span of one year, 2019-2020, there was a 30% increase in substance abuse. More than 70% of individuals who try out drugs are found to fall into severe addiction over time.
Depression and anxiety
It is estimated that more than 21 million people in the United States have had at least one episode of severe depression. Also, about 31.1% of adults in the US suffer from anxiety disorders at some or the other point in their life.
It is saddening to know that the number of the young population slipping into these mental health issues is also seen to increase day by day.
Also Read: 10 Ways to Improve Brain Health
This is another serious health issue faced by the US population. Around 1.2 million people in America are estimated to have HIV infection, and about 13% of them aren't even aware of this.
Around 700,000 people lose their lives to AIDS-related diseases, and approximately 35,000 new cases of HIV infection are reported each year.
Nearly 40 million Americans smoke tobacco. On average, a tobacco smoker is estimated to die about 10 years before non-smokers. This isn’t the sad part; it is reported that around 3.08 million students regularly use at least one tobacco product.
Around 480,000 individuals, including secondary smokers, die yearly from smoking-related diseases. This means roughly 1 in 5 individuals die due to the overuse of tobacco. This is one of the leading causes of preventable disability, diseases, and death in the US.
Looking at all the above health threats, it seems America is facing no different health challenges than the rest of the world.
On the bright side, several of these diseases can be bridled by eating healthy and following a healthy lifestyle. Comment below the next topic you would like us to write on!