United Health: Preventable Chronic Disease on the Rise

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A recent report by United Health Foundation shows preventable chronic disease is on the rise and the United States did not improve overall population health in 2011.

United Health Foundation's 2011 America’s Heath Rankings provides a state-by-state snapshot of population health based on 23 measures. The report finds that the country's overall health did not improve from 2010-2011 after three years of gains. The lack of improvement stems from a balance between improvements and detriments across all 23 measures. Some improvements include the following:


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•    Total smokers decreased to 17.3 percent of the U.S. population in 2011 — a 3.4 percent decline since 2010 and a 25.4 percent decline since 2001.
•    Preventable hospitalizations also declined to 68.2 preventable hospitalizations per 1,000 Medicare enrollees in 2011 — a 3.4 percent decline since 2010 and a 17.3 percent decline since 2001.
•    Cardiovascular deaths are down to 270.4 deaths per 100,000 in 2011 — a 2.8 percent decline since 2010 and a 22.2 percent decline since 2001.

However, these positive trends were offset by other "troubling" statistics, according to the report:

•    In 2011, 27.5 percent of the adult population was obese — a 2.2 percent increase since 2010 and a 37.5 percent increase since 2001.
•    Also, 8.7 percent of the population had diabetes in 2011 — a 4.8 percent increase since 2010 and a 42.6 percent increase since 2001.

Related Articles on Population Health:

U.S Patients Very Happy With Outpatient Medical Care

New York Hospitals Partner to Identify Medical Needs; Improve Population Health

AHRQ Campaign Aims to Engage Hispanics in Their Own Healthcare

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