It is always important for a nation to keep tabs on the most common health complaints. We already knew that chronic diseases account for the greatest impact on the system by adults of middle and older ages. But the new study sought to understand other types of conditions that could be quietly affecting huge swaths of Americans.
The study tracked more than 140,000 Minnesota residents between 2005 and 2009. Researchers then systematically categorized patient diagnoses into disease groups. The top disease groups included the following:
• Skin disorders
• Osteoarthritis/joint disorders
• Back problems
• Cholesterol problems
• Upper respiratory conditions (not including asthma)
• Anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder
• Chronic neurologic disorders
• High blood pressure
In a bit of a surprise, the most prevalent conditions were not chronic ones that tend to strike because of aging (like heart disease and diabetes), but rather conditions that affect men and women equally, and people of any age.
For example, nearly half of all people in the study had skin disorders such as acne, cysts, or dermatitis in the five-year period. Why do these diagnoses result in so many doctors’ visits? Could we as patients be receiving care in alternative ways? The study opens up plenty of questions that will help doctors deliver care more efficiently.
For our purposes here, Doctors Health Press will continue to strive and report on the key conditions that affect most Americans. If you are interested in anything on the above list, keep tabs on our emerging articles.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
The Biggest Reasons Why We See the Doctor
St. Sauver, J., et al., “Why Patients Visit Their Doctors: Assessing the Most Prevalent Conditions in a Defined American Population,” Mayo Clinic Proceedings, January 2013; 88: 56-67.