Chronic Health Conditions Plague Half Of All American Adults, CDC Reports

Thomas Carannante | HNGN | July 2, 2014

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all American adults - approximately 117 million people - suffer from one or more chronic health conditions. This troubling statistic is perhaps one reason why health care costs are soaring.

In May, the CDC released an update on the nation's current struggles with chronic diseases, including obesity, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and others. On top of finding that half of US adults suffer from a chronic disease, they also discovered that 25% suffer from two or more chronic conditions. These ailments are common, but costly. More importantly, they are preventable.

Today, researchers from the government agency published a paper in The Lancet entitled, "Prevention of chronic disease in the 21st century: elimination of the leading preventable causes of premature death and disability in the USA." The research examines the causes of the most commonly suffered chronic diseases as well as the risk factors that are associated with them. Tobacco use, poor diet, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, poorly treated high blood pressure, and high cholesterol were all listed as behaviors within one's control that can reduce such diseases...