In 2005, 133 million Americans were living with at least one chronic condition and this this number is expected to grow to 157 million by 2020. While 63 million people had multiple chronic illnesses in 2005, with that number predicted to reach 81 million in 2020. That is just the tip of the fall-out that is expected to impact our healthcare system from those with chronic diseases.
A recent article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine indicates the number of Americans with multiple chronic diseases or conditions is a staggering 47 percent. Consider this…the average Medicare patient with 1 chronic condition sees 4 physicians a year, while those with 5 or more chronic conditions see 14 different physicians a year!
Here’s the real clincher…the U.S. population is expected to increase 18 percent from 2005 to 2025, however the population over age sixty-five will grow by 73 percent.
The over-sixty-five group seeks care from generalists at twice the rate of people under age sixty-five!
It has been projected that, by 2020, chronic diseases will account for almost three-quarters of all deaths worldwide. Obesity, inactivity and sedentary lifestyle, along with poor dietary food choices contribute to a significant percent of the chronic diseases.
The financial implications related to these staggering numbers is a healthcare system which will have difficulty sustaining itself.
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