The Most Serious Public Health Concerns in the U.S. from The Most Serious Public Health Concerns in the U.S.

The Most Serious Public Health Concerns in the U.S.

Public health has become a huge concern in the United States. People are at risk due environmental hazards, chronic disease and mental illness.

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “about 610,000 Americans die from heart disease each year,” and “in the United States, someone has a heart attack every 43 seconds.”

According to William H. Minnix, MD, “smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol are the things known to set you up for heart disease or stroke.”

”Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths,” the CDC explains.

Public health concerns are on the rise; it’s important to become aware of the issues plaguing our country and take preventative measures to stop them from harming us.

After extensive research, I have compiled a list of The Most Serious Public Health Concerns in the United States. If you find yourself a victim of one of these issues, seek professional help and start making the right lifestyle changes for a happier, healthier life.

HIV/Aids

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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a lifelong disease that if left untreated can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). According to the CDC, “more than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 8 (12.8%) are unaware of their infection.”

Smoking

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Cigarette smoking causes approximately 480,000 deaths annually in the United States. According to the CDC, “cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general.”  Dr. Minnix explains, “it seems that people, even confronted with information around them have trouble with smoking.” He also says that “by inhaling cigarette smoke you raise your body inflammation level.”

Violence Against Children

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Dr. Minnix, a former ER doctor says that “awareness has gone way up” and “ER physicians are on alert for child abuse.” If they have any suspicion of abuse, they send the child in for a skeletal survey where doctors can take a closer look at x-rays of the child’s bones and look for old healing fractures.

Pollution

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Pollution is one of the most dangerous public health concerns plaguing the U.S. today. Air pollution especially has been an increasing concern. Air pollution leads to health risks and damages to the ecosystem.

Substance Abuse

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse  explains: “abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is costly to our Nation, exacting more than $700 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and health care.”

Dementia

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Dementia is usually an illness found in older adults. It has become a very serious public health concern in the United States. The CDC explains: “Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of cognitive disorders typically characterized by memory impairment, as well as marked difficulty in the domains of language, motor activity, object recognition, and disturbance of executive function – the ability to plan, organize, and abstract.“ The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.

Asbestos

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Your home could be making you sick! Asbestos was commonly used as building and insulation material between 1920 and 1978. If you are living in a home that was made during that time you could be at risk for serious health problems. Asbestos fibers can get trapped in your lungs and cause inflammation which can cause difficulty breathing and mesothelioma.

Obesity

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According to the CDC, “more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese.”  Dr. Minnix says that losing weight can help lower blood sugar which in turn will help reduce the risks of obesity. He believes diabetes is highly associated with obesity and “it is believed type 1 diabetes causes the pancreas to shut down.” That being said, obesity is one of the leading public health concerns in the United States.

Teen Pregnancy

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According to research, “in 2014, a total of 249,078 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years, for a birth rate of 24.2 per 1,000 women in this age group.” This has become a major public health concern in the United States. It has caused high school dropout rates among girls to increase and has been proven to cause mental and physical health problems.

Access to Healthcare

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According to a 2014 study, there is a need for improved access to healthcare. Study participants expressed their need for health insurance, their fear of public programs and complications due to transportation issues.

Mental Health

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Dr. Minnix believes that there has been a “general increase in depression and panic disorders.” He explains that after years of working in the medical field he has come to realize, “more people are benefiting from anti-depressants.” According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year,” and “mood disorders such as depression are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults ages 18 to 44.”

Cancer

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Cancer is by far one of the most serious public health concerns in the United States. According to Dr. Minnix, “the most serious cancer is lung cancer.” He adds it is important to go for an annual physical with a doctor and get lab work done. There is also a new test offered which provides patients with a DNA analysis.

Climate Change

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Climate change has been the cause to many health related issues in the United States. According to the World Health Organization, “climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.” They also explain that climate change is expected to cause 250,000 additional deaths per year due to malnutrition, diarrhea, heat stress and malaria.

Cholesterol

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High cholesterol has become extremely common among individuals in the United States. It can be caused by poor diet, age, smoking and family history. Gender is also a factor. Too much cholesterol has dangerous side effects; it can cause plaque buildup on the walls of your arteries resulting in the blockage of blood flow which in turn may cause blood clots. According to Dr. Minnix, “the most important thing to do to raise your HDL (‘good’) cholesterol is to exercise.”