Friday, February 18, 2011


The US Center for disease control and prevention has just released their 2010 report on Health Statistics from the National Center for health statistics. A few trends are worth noting to see what lessons we can learn.
It would appear that since the 80s till 2009, age adjusted death rates have come down, meaning that people live longer and better. Their CVS mortality has also declined by about 20% Their national cholesterol levels have declined but only 30% are lowered to guideline levels. Of course the use of statins have increased by 10 fold. The rate of obesity has continued to increase and the prevalence of hypertension has plateaued.
CVD remains the leading cause of death in the US.
What lessons can we learn. It looks like the US, that spends 14% of their GDP is still very much on to curative medicine., which remains good but very expensive. Their efforts at prevention of chronic lifestyle diseases has met with some success, but the effect after 20 years is still largely small. Obesity is becoming a very serious problem, negating some of the improvements in CVS mortality and morbidity. Hypertension remains very much an issue. Americans would rather take statins then change their lifestyle, and they do not quite believe their guidelines, as only a third have been treated to target.
We Malaysians must see what we can do and how to spend our healthcare dollar. in 2006, we spend 4.2 % of GDP. Lets hope that we can spend more, particularly on prevention of chronic lifestyle diseases.

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