Half of all adults in the USA suffer from at least one chronic condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, or obesity, and over a quarter of adults have two or more, reveals a new study.
According to the study, the majority of these chronic conditions stem from a small number of risk factors that are largely preventable, including tobacco use, poor diet, and physical inactivity (both strongly associated with obesity), alcohol consumption, and uncontrolled high blood pressure.
The study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers also found that Medicare enrollees (the majority of whom are over 65) accounted for 300 billion dollars in health care spending, over 90 percent of which was accounted for by people with two or more chronic conditions. Compared with comparable high-income countries, the USA is less healthy in areas such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases.
The study was published in the Lancet.