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The Top 10 Health Conditions Affecting Americans

There are more than 325 million people living in big cities, sprawling suburbs and rural areas throughout the United States. A sweeping set of data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS) is shedding light on the conditions impacting many of these communities and helping experts understand which health challenges are urgent and emerging.

Posted  401 Views updated 29 days ago

1. Hypertension — High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure (or hypertension). National Health Impact 12.5%

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2. Major Depression — Depression is more than just feeling down or having a bad day. When a sad mood lasts for a long time and interferes with normal, everyday functioning, you may be depressed. National Health Impact 9%

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3. High Cholesterol — Your risk for high cholesterol can increase even more if you have a family history of high cholesterol, do not eat a heart healthy diet, are sedentary, or smoke. Family health history is a record of the diseases and health conditions in your family. Family health history is a useful tool for understanding health risks and preventing disease. National Health Impact 8.6%

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4. Coronary Artery Disease — Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease in the United States. It is sometimes called coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease. For some people, the first sign of CAD is a heart attack. You and your health care team may be able to help reduce your risk for CAD. National Health Impact 7%

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5. Type 2 Diabetes — There are 96 million American adults who have prediabetes – that’s 1 in 3 adults! Of those 96 million, more than 8 in 10 of them don’t even know they have it. Without taking action, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. National Health Impact 5.5%

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6. Substance Use Disorder — About 18 women die every day of a prescription painkiller overdose in the US, more than 6,600 deaths in 2010. Prescription painkiller overdoses are an under-recognized and growing problem for women. National Health Impact 3.4%

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7. Alcohol Use Disorder — Men are more likely than women to drink excessively.1 Excessive drinking is associated with significant risks to men’s health and safety, and the risks increase with the amount of alcohol consumed. Men are also more likely than women to take other risks (such as misusing other substances, having multiple sex partners, or not wearing a seat belt), that when combined with alcohol, further increase their risk of illness, injury or death. National Health Impact 3.3%

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8. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) — Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. National Health Impact 3.3%

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9. Mental health - is an important part of overall health and refers to a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health involves how we think, feel, act, and make choices. Mental health disorders can be short- or long-term and can interfere with a person’s mood, behavior, thinking, and ability to relate to others. Various studies have shown the impact of trauma, depression, anxiety, and stress on the body, including stress on the heart.1-3

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10. Crohn’s Disease/Ulcerative Colitis — Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two major inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract—from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis occurs in the large intestine or rectum. It’s usually diagnosed in teens and young adults. Three million US adults report having a diagnosis of IBD. Common symptoms include frequent diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody stools, fever, weight loss, fatigue, and night sweats. IBD is a long-lasting disease and often does not go away completely. Although this chronic disease significantly affects quality of life, there are ways to manage it. National Health Impact 2.7%

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