More than one in four Americans are said to have multiple concurrent chronic conditions that last a year or more, requiring ongoing medical attention.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, comparison of data drawn from the National Health Interview Survey 1999-2000 and 2009-2010, revealed that during the 10-year period the number of adults aged 45-64, and over 65, with two or more of the nine selected chronic conditions increased in both men and women, across races, ethnic groups and in most income groups.
The nine selected chronic conditions for the report included hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, current asthma, and kidney disease.
Management of chronic conditions has major cost implications as increased spending on these diseases drives up Medicare spending. Moreover, the prevalence of these conditions add a layer of complexity to disease management within the country, says the report.
According to the data from the National Health Interview Survey, the percentage of adults aged 65 and over with both hypertension and diabetes increased from 9% to 15%; prevalence of hypertension and heart disease increased from 18% to 21%; and prevalence of hypertension and cancer increased from 8% to 11% during the 10-year period.
The percentage of adults aged 45-64 with two or more chronic conditions who did not receive or delayed needed medical care due to cost, increased from 17% to 23%, and the percentage who did not receive needed prescription drugs due to cost increased from 14% to 22%.
The most common combinations of chronic conditions included hypertension and diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, and hypertension and cancer.
There was an increase in three of the nine individual conditions that increased the prevalence of multiple chronic conditions. In adults aged 45 and over, prevalence of hypertension increased from 35% to 41%, diabetes from 10% to 15%, and cancer from 9% to 11%, says the report.
A limitation of this report is that it includes only information of diseases confirmed by a doctor's diagnosis, as reported by the participants and it doesn't contain information on undiagnosed chronic conditions, say experts.
by RTT Staff Writer
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