Posts Tagged ‘demographics’

Working Poor Families Struggle to Pay Bills

There’s a Direct relationship between poverty, obesity, and the cost of health care.

Here’s some statistics, mostly from the 2010 census:

  • 15.1% of Americans (46.2 million) live in poverty, including 22% of our children. 20% live in extreme poverty.
  • 3.2 million Americans were kept out of poverty by unemployment insurance.
  • 20.3 million were kept out of poverty by social security.
  • The poverty threshold for a family of four is $22,113; the 2010 avg. income of the bottom 90% was $26.364.
  • $6,298 — decline in median working-age household income from 2000 to 2010.
  • 49.1 million — number of people under 65 without any health insurance.
  • 13.6 million — decline in people under 65 with employer-sponsored health insurance from 2000-2010.
  • Public health officials can accurately predict obesity and longevity rates by zip codes. One inner city example had an average lifespan of just 64 years while it was 90 years in a wealthier neighborhood just 8 miles away. (HBO’s documentary, The Weight of the Nation)
  • Disadvantaged communities are at higher risk for many preventable health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis B and C, and infant mortality, largely due to the lack of health care, nutritious food at affordable prices, and sidewalks and parks to encourage exercise.
  • Pressures from Job, Money, Divorce and Violence cause a vicious cycle of Stress = Obesity = Stress.

Tech innovation and automation also plays a role, increasing productivity and profits for some, but eliminating jobs faster than creating new ones. Dr. Oz apparently agrees, as shown in this article, which also features a CBS report on the jobs impact of robotics and a collection of slides that I recently presented to a local jobs group.


 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/us-working-poor_n_2476463.html

Population of over 60-year-olds to reach 1 billion by 2020

New UN report calls for urgent action by governments to address the needs of the “Greying Generation”

  • 80% of world’s older people will live in developing countries by 2050
  • Over 60 population will be larger than the under-15 population in 2050

Report: Ageing in the Twenty-First CenturyThe number of older persons is growing faster than any other age group, says a new report, Ageing in the Twenty-first Century: A Celebration and a Challenge, released 10/1/2012 on International Day of Older Persons by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and HelpAge International.

The new report underlines that, while the trend of ageing societies is a cause for celebration, it also presents huge challenges as it requires completely new approaches to health care, retirement, living arrangements and intergenerational relations.

In 2000, for the first time in history, there were more people over 60 than children below 5. By 2050, the older generation will be larger than the under-15 population. In just 10 years, the number of older persons will surpass 1 billion people-an increase of close to 200 million people over the decade. Today two out of three people aged 60 or over, live in developing and emerging economies. By 2050, this will rise to nearly four in five.

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Poverty in America — it’s not what you think.

As our presidential candidates debate the issues, what will they say about Poverty in America? And how do they plan to address the problem?

Click to send a custom tweet, saying Lets Talk Poverty

 

The Line is an important documentary that cover the stories of people across the country living at or below the poverty line. They have goals. They have children. They work hard. They are people like you and me. Across America, millions are struggling every day to make it above The Line.

Poverty is a drag on the economy that also affects the cost of healthcare, as I’ve written before in this blog.

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Sleep Apnea and Poverty

Sleep Apnea and Poverty: How Socioeconomics Impacts Proper Diagnosis And Treatment

Poor Sleep For The PoorBy Susan Redline, MD, MPH and Dr. Michelle A. Williams, ScD

Individuals from disadvantaged neighborhoods and racial/ethnic minorities are at increased risk for sleep disorders due to a variety of environmental exposures, occupational and psychosocial conditions, and possibly genetic factors. Editor: They also have higher rates of obesity and other health conditions, and they don’t live as long.

A wide range of serious health problems disproportionately afflict individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. These conditions, which reduce quality of life and shorten lifespan, include heart diseasestrokediabetes,asthma, and cancer. Other health problems commonly associated with poverty are obesity,pregnancy complications, increased infant mortality,HIV/AIDS and dental disease. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s “Healthy People 2020,” which sets 10-year national objectives for improving the health of the nation, has prioritized the need to close the gap in these “health disparities.” There are numerous potential targets for improving the health of low-income people, such as improving nutrition and access to health care. In addition, accumulating research points to a need to improve sleep as means for improving alertness and daily functioning, as well as for reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

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Dramatic Change in the Causes of Death

photo image of Stephen C. Schimpff, MDby Stephen C Schimpff, MD

Most of us will not have the opportunity to just die of “old age” or to simply fall to sleep one night never to wake again. Most often, we develop an illness which causes our death. These have changed markedly over the years. For the pioneers, accidents, infections, childbirth were times and causes of great likelihood of death. A century ago, infections were the leading causes of death. Today, we will probably survive much longer than our ancestors but it is more likely we will die of heart disease, cancer or stroke. This is a dramatic change in the causes of death that has occurred over the years and with it is an equally dramatic change in the factors that predispose to those deaths.

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Consumers use Social Media more than Health Companies

This report complements my earlier article on Patients Find and Help Each other in Social Media.
Rest assured that I’ll be devouring its contents, contacting its authors, and reporting my findings.

Consumer Activity on Social Media Sites Dwarfs that of Healthcare Companies, Finds New PwC Study on Social Media in HealthcareClick on report cover to view Social Media Report

New York, April 17, 2012 – Social media is changing the nature of healthcare interaction, and health organizations that ignore this virtual environment may be missing opportunities to engage consumers, according to a new report by the Health Research Institute (HRI) at PwC US entitled, “Social media likes healthcare: From marketing to social business.”

The report found that social media activity by hospitals, health insurers and pharmaceutical companies is miniscule compared to the activity on community sites. While eight in 10 healthcare companies (as tracked by HRI during a sample one-week period) had a presence on various social media sites, community sites had 24 times more social media activity than corporate sites. The finding holds significant implications for businesses looking to capitalize on social media opportunities.

Liking, following, linking, tagging, stumbling: social media is changing the nature of health-related interactions.

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America’s Obesity Epidemic – a BIG Problem (UPDATED)

Fatty Food, from HBO's The Weight of the NationNow that all four episodes of The Weight of the Nation have aired on HBO, I’m updating this article with new information, important statistics, and embedded versions of the trailer and each episode.

Obesity is a really BIG problem (excuse the pun), and with over two thirds (69%) of us overweight or obese,  it’s now the largest threat to the health, wellness and future survival of our nation. Obesity has become an epidemic that needs swift action and an unprecedented public health campaign. Otherwise, we’ll end up like those fat Axiom characters in Pixar’s movie, Wall-E, and we’ll bankrupt America.

I hope everyone young & old will watch HBO’s The Weight of the Nation. It’s a four-part documentary that premiered on Monday, May 14 to explore our uphill battle with obesity. If you prefer to watch on your TV or want to learn more, you can visit the link above to buy the CD or the book that it’s based on. (An online version of the book is free.)

The Trailer

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10 Forecasts for the Future of Healthcare

World Future Society's special report on 20 Forecasts for the Next 25 YearsFORESIGHT may be the single most critical skill for the 21st Century. Knowledge quickly goes out of date, but foresight enables you to anticipate and navigate change, make good decisions, and take action to create a better future.

That’s why I’ve been a member of the Central Texas chapter of the World Future Society for years, where I meet interesting people with widely varied perspectives of the future. It’s also why I participate in so many Linkedin discussion groups on emerging healthcare issues.

The following ten forecasts came from the World Future Society’s special report, Forecasts for the Next 25 Years. It’s a promotional piece to attract new members who then get a subscription to The Futurist magazine.

Forecast #3. Nanotechnology offers hope for restoring eyesight.

Flower-shaped electrodes topped with photodiodes, implanted in blind patients’ eyes, may restore their sight. The “nanoflowers” mimic the geometry of neurons, making them a better medium than traditional computer chips for carrying photodiodes and transmitting the collected light signals to the brain. Read the rest of this entry »

America’s Obesity Epidemic – a BIG Problem

Obesity is a really BIG problem (excuse the pun), and with over two thirds (69%) of us overweight or obese,  it’s now the largest threat to the health, wellness and future of America. Obesity is an epidemic that needs swift action and an unprecedented public health campaign. Otherwise, we’ll end up like those fat Axiom characters in Pixar’s movie, Wall-E, and we’ll bankrupt the nation.

I hope everyone young & old will watch HBO’s The Weight of the Nation. It’s a four-part documentary that starts this campaign by exploring America’s uphill battle with obesity. The series premiers at 8pm central time on Monday, May 14. If you miss it and can’t find a repeat, you can visit the link above to buy the CD or the book that it’s based on. (An online version of the book is free.)

The Trailer

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Digital Divide Still Prevalent

Wireless technology is changing the landscape and helping bridge the digital divide. Photo via Creative Commons, by YoTuT

By Lisa Nelson, http://blog.howto.gov/2012/04/20/digital-divide-still-prevalent/

The rapid adoption of mobile and mobile devices is providing Internet access to those who had little or no none before.

With almost 90% of American twenty-somethings accessing the Internet through smartphones or tablets, the digital divide may narrow significantly by the end of the decade.

Despite this sunny future, a PEW Internet report looks at differences in digital access and use among American adults and finds one in five people do not use the Internet.

While increased Internet adoption and the rise of mobile connectivity have reduced many gaps in technology access over the past decade, for some groups digital disparities still remain.

The report finds that those most likely to be part of the digital divide include: Read the rest of this entry »

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