Chronic diseases have a long course of illness. They rarely resolve spontaneously and they are generally not cured by medication or prevented by vaccine. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes account for 7 out of every 10 deaths and affect the quality of life of 90 million Americans. Chronic disabling conditions cause major limitations in activity for more than 1 out of every 10 Americans or 25 million people. Although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems, they are also among the most preventable. Adopting healthy behaviors such as eating nutritious foods, being physically active, and avoiding [toxins] can prevent or control the devastating effects of these diseases.
In Florida in 2007, almost one out of every three deaths was due to heart disease and stroke, and almost one of every four deaths was due to cancer. However, consideration of deaths alone severely understates the burden of chronic disease. The prolonged course of illness and disability from chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis results in extended pain and suffering as well as in decreased quality of life for thousands of Floridians. Our state cannot reduce its enormous health care costs, much less its priority health problems, without addressing the prevention of chronic disease in a fundamentally more aggressive manor. (Florida Charts 2010).
In 2008 in Marion County, Florida, there were 4,147 deaths. The percentage of those deaths in the residents over age 65 was 76.7%. Of those deaths, 51% of them are the top two leading causes of death. They are due to unnatural chronic disease, and they are respectively cancer and heart disease. (Florida Charts, 2010)
Death due to chronic disease is unnatural. The definition of health is more than just the absence of disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO),
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. (WHO, 2010)
A better quality of life for Senior Citizens of Marion County is Possible. Click here to read more about it: PHilbert-HS315-A better quality of life for Seniors.doc
Click here for the brochure version: PHilbert-Better Quality of Life for Seniors_brochure.doc