Lifestyle & Belief

One in five middle-aged US adults have at least two chronic health problems


A paramedic takes blood from a patient in a Miami hospital's emergency department. Critics say frequent use of hospital emergency rooms for minor health problems impede care of the critically injured and are driving up the costs of US health care.



Americans seem to be getting sicker. The number of Americans aged 45 and older with at least two chronic health conditions has grown by 17 percent in the last decade, research by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found. The research found that over 20 percent of Americans between the ages of ages 45 to 64 have at least two ongoing health problems, up from about 15 percent in the year 2000, HealthDay reported. For adults over the age of 65, 45 percent have two chronic conditions, up from 37 percent a decade earlier.  

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Worse is that the CDC didn't even factor in obesity in the research, because it doesn't consider obesity to be a health condition in and of itself, MSNBC reported. Rather, the increase in diseases comes from more cases of hypertension, diabetes and cancer. The researchers also factored in stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, current asthma and kidney disease. All of those conditions can be caused by lifestyle factors, such as obesity, as well as environmental factors and genetic factors.