Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chronic conditions: costs to taxpayers

This is an interesting headline. 'Tackle chronic disease'
Again, the authors blame seniors. It seems as if we are purposefully not managing our chronic conditions.
'The following chronic conditions are included: arthritis, asthma, cancer, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, a mood disorder other than depression and stroke.'

Seems to me that it is our physicians who are the ones that are supposed to manage our conditions. Do we not respond to a physician who says that we must go on this or that for cholesterol, or other issues? If we knew better we'd do better. The research shows that those with the most education have the best health. We depend upon those around us.

Want healthy seniors and a healthy system? Tackle chronic diseases

Those with multiple chronic conditions are not managing their health very well, either. Generally, they report that their chronic conditions are managed through the use of prescription medications. Seniors with three chronic conditions report taking six prescription drugs, twice as many as those with only one chronic disease.

Those who used multiple medications reported, not surprisingly, that they experienced twice as many side effects requiring medical attention as other seniors. Additionally, fewer than half the seniors with chronic conditions reported discussions with their health provider to review the drugs that they were taking and to become knowledgeable about side effects.

Multiple chronic conditions, not age, main driver of health system use by seniors

Study identifies gaps in primary health care for seniors with multiple chronic conditions

Press releases explain the facts, as well. It is the chronic conditions, not our age, that determines our health. People with MS in their 40's need more help than healthy seniors, the people I meet in the volunteer world, who continue to remain active, mentally challenged, and participate in their communities.

Primary healthcare works well for many. 

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