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The Top 9 Health Concerns Facing Americans
According to a comprehensive set of data released last year by the Blue Cross Blue Shield, there’s a wide range of health conditions that are negatively impacting the quality of life for adults al lacrosse the United States. Of those conditions, the following nine have the highest overall national health impact, ordered from highest impact to lowest:
- Hypertension. Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension causes the blood in your body to flow at dangerously high pressure. When this happens, the force of the blood can cause serious damage, including triggering a heart attack or stroke. Hypertension is often associated with certain health factors, including obesity and smoking, but it also increases with age and stress. One of the biggest dangers of hypertension is that there are few if any easy-to-detect warning signs, which is why it has earned the name of “America’s silent killer”.
- Major Depression. A mental illness that causes an individual to feel constantly hopeless and despaired, major depression unfortunately often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Affecting children, teenagers, and adults, major depression negatively impacts almost every aspect of day-to-day life, including your ability to work, eat, and sleep.
- High Cholesterol. Whether caused by genetic factors or an unhealthy lifestyle, high cholesterol is dangerous because it restricts blood flow in the body. This happens because fatty deposits build up along blood vessels and artery walls, increasing the chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
- Coronary Artery Disease. Attributed to a variety of health issues, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes, coronary artery disease causes damage to the inner layer of your heart’s arteries. This damage increases your risk of heart attack, especially as you age.
- Type 2 Diabetes. Although there are different types of diabetes, Type 2 has become the most common, often attributed to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. In the United States, almost all cases (about 90%) of diabetes are diagnosed as Type 2.
- Substance/Alcohol Use. Often referred to as drug addiction, substance use disorder is diagnosed when an individual has developed a dependency and overuse of toxins, including medications or alcohol. Substance use disorder is serious, potentially leading to mental issues, physical injury, overdoses and death. When blood alcohol levels become elevated, serious consequences, including coma and death, can result. Withdrawing from alcohol abuse is also dangerous, potentially leading to hallucinations and seizures.
- Officially known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, COPD inflames the lungs, restricting airflow. For the majority of Americans, COPD is caused by smoking cigarettes.
- Psychotic Disorder. When you struggle with a psychotic disorder, whether schizophrenia or delusional disorder, it dramatically impacts your quality of life. Because it’s difficult to understand what’s real and what isn’t, daily life becomes difficult for you and your family.
- Crohn’s Disease/Ulcerative Colitis. Characterized by chronic inflammation of your digestive tract, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis often cause debilitating pain. As a result, individuals sometimes develop ulcers, abscesses, fistulas, malnutrition and more. In some cases, the conditions can cause life-threatening complications.