To be healthy in the 21st century, good medicine and good intentions are no longer enough.
The most serious threats to health in past centuries resulted from microorganisms being passed either from person to person or through the environment. Today, in all but a few countries, diseases caused by microorganisms have been nearly eradicated as the most common cause of pre-mature death and disability. By way of extraordinary medical innovations and advances in public health, these pathogenic diseases are now highly treatable and largely preventable.
New Health Threats Have Emerged
In this century, chronic diseases have emerged as the most serious threat to health and longevity. In fact, as a result of chronic diseases, there has been a marked drop in “Personal Health Security” over the last 40 years. This alarming fall in health security occurred even in countries where the best disease-care systems in the world reside. In the United States alone, 25% of adults now have at least 2 chronic conditions.
The World Health Organization reports, “Chronic diseases are now the major cause of death and disability worldwide.”
The most common chronic diseases of this century include: high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancers, chronic kidney disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diseases of the lung. Categorized as “non-communicable diseases” or NCDs, today’s chronic diseases are not caused by the microorganisms of past centuries. Instead, they mostly result from the accumulation of daily choices. Often, for this reason, they are also referred to as the “Behavior-based Diseases.” (BBDs)
Nearly a decade ago, the Global Burden of Disease Study reported that chronic (behavior-based) diseases had already grown to 81% of all disability-adjusted life years lost (DALY) whereas infectious diseases accounted for only about 4% worldwide. The “theory of epidemiological transition” highlights this trend of moving from a previous “age of pestilence and famine” – a time when infectious disease deaths prevailed – to the current “age of degenerative and man-made diseases,” a time when disabilities and deaths occur mostly from chronic diseases.
The dramatic shift from infectious to chronic disease death rate trends over the past century is clearly documented in data from the United States of America.
20th Century Disease Death Rate Trends
From improved sanitation and hygiene to vaccines, antibiotics and open heart surgery – human health problems were solved in bunches throughout the 20th century. The impact on human health stands today as a remarkable collective achievement that continues to benefit billions of people worldwide. However, growing namely from infectious disease threats and war-related trauma, current healthcare models remain rooted in frameworks ill-equipped to finally turn the tide on today’s new health problems.
The chronic disease burden is still increasing despite 40 years of well-intentioned efforts at “Care and Prevention.”
After nearly a half-century of applying old care models to new health problems, it is time to add a model of care focused entirely on the main causes of illness and premature death in 21st century humans. Beginning as weight gain, fatigue, gall bladder problems, joint pain, indigestion, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes or infertility – these early signs of developing chronic diseases need not lead to health futures filled with prescriptions, surgeries and lost years of life.
Built on a framework of strategy and action, Health Correction embraces the complexities of modern health problems and dedicates itself to immediately disrupting them at every stage. Every person can be healthier at every age, no matter their current state of health or disease.
H E A L T H C O R R E C T I O N™ is poised to impact human health in this century just as other care models have done in the past.
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