Saturday, July 09, 2011

Top Killer Diseases

The leading diseases that cause death account for almost 75% of all deaths; and, the top 3 diseases account for over 50% of all deaths in the United States. During the past 10 years, the main culprits have remained relatively the same.

Top Killer Diseases in U.S. Bar Chart

As shown in the bar chart above, the diseases that are the leading cause of death are:
-- Heart Disease
-- Cancer
-- Stroke
-- Respiratory Disease
-- Diabetes

Other top diseases include:
-- Influenza/Pneumonia
-- Alzheimer's
-- Kidney Disease

Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US and also the leading cause of death worldwide. More than half of the deaths that occur as a result of heart disease are in men.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Caucasian Americans. For Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Asians or Pacific Islanders, heart disease is second only to cancer.

In heart disease, as the plaque builds up, the arteries narrow, making it more difficult for blood to flow and creating a risk for heart attack or stroke.

The key to preventing death from heart disease is to protect the heart and know the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

More Information About Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.

About 611,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 370,000 people annually.

In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 43 seconds. Each minute, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and whites. For Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders and American Indians or Alaska Natives, heart disease is second only to cancer.

Coronary heart disease costs the US $108.9 billion each year and is the most common type of heart disease.This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

Note: Heart disease is a term used to describe several problems related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries.

Heart Attacks
Ever since statin drugs were introduced in 1989, heart disease and heart attacks have gradually increased every year.There are 350,000 heart attacks every year, with xx,000 being fatal.
About 580,000 people in the U.S. suffer heart attacks each year. Of these, 410,000 are a first heart attack and 165,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that bring blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. When blood cannot reach part of your heart, that area starves for oxygen. If the blockage continues long enough, cells in the affected area die.

Note: People drop dead suddenly from a heart attack for many reasons, including:
-- Plaque buildup that breaks off a large blood clot
-- Blockage in the widow-maker
-- Electrical signal malfunction
-- Medications
-- Not getting tested
-- Ignoring the signs
-- Wrong blood tests
-- Stress
-- Misdiagnosis

Note: Refer to our blog post about the 7 warning signs of a possible impending heart attack.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death for both men and women in the US and also the second-leading cause of death in many other countries. Based on the current growth of cancer cases, cancer will surpass heart disease and become the leading cause of death within 3 to 5 years.

Cancer is the name given to a collection of related diseases. In all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide out of control without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues.

There are more than 200 types of cancer, including breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, bone cancer and lymphoma. Symptoms vary depending on the type of cancer. Conventional cancer treatment usually includes chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.

Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of 100 trillion cells. Normally, human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place.

When cancer develops, however, this orderly process breaks down. As cells become more and more abnormal, old or damaged cells survive when they should die, and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form growths called tumors.

Many cancers form solid tumors, which are masses of tissue. Cancers of the blood, such as leukemias, generally do not form solid tumors.

Cancerous tumors are malignant, which means that they can spread into, or invade, nearby tissues. In addition, as these tumors grow, some cancer cells can break off and travel to distant places in the body through the blood or the lymph system and form new tumors far from the original tumor -- this is known as metastasis.

Unlike malignant tumors, benign tumors do not spread into, or invade, nearby tissues. Benign tumors can sometimes be quite large, however. When removed, they usually don’t grow back, whereas malignant tumors sometimes do. Unlike most benign tumors elsewhere in the body, benign brain tumors can be life threatening.

Differences Between Cancer Cells and Normal Cells
Cancer cells differ from normal cells in many ways that allow them to grow out of control and become invasive. One important difference is that cancer cells are less specialized than normal cells. That is, whereas normal cells mature into very distinct cell types with specific functions, cancer cells do not. This is one reason that, unlike normal cells, cancer cells continue to divide without stopping.

In addition, cancer cells are able to ignore signals that normally tell cells to stop dividing or to start a process known as programmed cell death (apoptosis), which the body uses to get rid of unneeded cells.

Cancer cells may be able to influence the normal cells, molecules, and blood vessels that surround and feed a tumor—an area known as the microenvironment. For instance, cancer cells can induce nearby normal cells to form blood vessels that supply tumors with oxygen and nutrients, which they need to grow.

Cancer cells are also often able to evade the immune system, a network of organs, tissues, and specialized cells that protects the body from infections and other conditions. Although the immune system normally removes damaged or abnormal cells from the body, some cancer cells are able to “hide” from the immune system and grow undetected.

Tumors can also use the immune system to stay alive and grow. For example, with the help of certain immune system cells that normally prevent a runaway immune response, cancer cells can actually keep the immune system from killing cancer cells.

Cancer affects men and woman of all ages, races and ethnicities. The National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates the total costs of cancer in 2009 were $216.6 billion: $86.6 billion for direct medical costs and $130.0 billion for indirect mortality costs.

Stroke (Cerebrovascular Diseases)
Cerebrovascular diseases are conditions that develop as a result of problems with the blood vessels that supply the brain. Four of the most common types of cerebrovascular disease are:
    Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
    Subarachnoid hemorrhage
    Vascular dementia.

Every year more than 795,000 people in the US have a stroke; risk of having a stroke varies with race, ethnicity, age and geography. Risk of stroke increases with age, yet in 2009 34% of people hospitalized for stroke were younger than 65 years.

The highest death rates from stroke in the US occur in the southeast.

Respiratory Disease
Chronic lower respiratory disease (CLRD) is a collection of lung diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related issues, including primarily chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but also bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.

A study released by The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) estimated that 16.4 million days of work were lost annually because of COPD, and total absenteeism costs were $3.9 billion. Of the medical costs, 18% was paid for by private insurance, 51% by Medicare, and 25% by Medicaid. National medical costs are projected to increase from $32.1 billion in 2010 to $49.0 billion in 2020.

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When a person has diabetes, the body either does not make enough insulin or cannot use insulin as well as it should. This causes glucose to build up in the blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

Type 1 diabetes, which was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes, may account for about 5% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, which was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes, may account for about 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

The estimated costs of diabetes in the US in 2012 was $245 billion. Direct medical costs accounted for $176 billion of that total and indirect costs such as disability, work loss and premature death accounted for $69 billion.

Food for Thought
Since diabetes causes major damage to the arteries (macrovascular & microvascular), that means that 4 out of the 5 top killer diseases are associated with our cardiovascular system. In addition, two of the top health conditions (high blood pressure, high cholesterol) that affect more than 100 million Americans  are associated with the cardiovascular system.

Therefore, it shouldn't surprise us when someone drops dead of a heart attack. Maybe something is being overlooked here ...

Other Top Diseases
Other top diseases include:
-- Influenza/Pneumonia
-- Alzheimer's
-- Kidney Disease
Note: Although obesity is not listed as a disease, it should be, especially since more than two-thirds (68.8%) of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese; and, obesity is a major risk factor for the top 3 diseases.

FYI: Every year, about 35 million people visit the hospital (average 4.8 days stay) in the U.S. That's about 96,000 people a day. Every year, about 2.5 million people die in the U.S. (56 million worldwide). In the U.S., that's roughly 6800 people that die each day (153,000 worldwide).

Note: Globally, the top 3 diseases are the same around the world as they are in the United States.

Influenza and Pneumonia
Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral infection that is one of the most severe illnesses of the winter season. The reason influenza is more prevalent in the winter is not known; however, data suggest the virus survives and is transmitted better in cold temperatures. Influenza is spread easily from person to person, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Influenza can be complicated by pneumonia, which is a serious infection or inflammation of the lungs. The air sacs fill with pus and other liquid, blocking oxygen from reaching the bloodstream. If there is too little oxygen in the blood, the body's cells cannot work properly, which can lead to death.

Pneumonia can have over 30 different causes, including various chemicals, bacteria, viruses, mycoplasmas and other infectious agents such as pneumocystis (fungi).

Together, pneumonia and influenza cost the US economy more than $40.2 billion in 2005. This figure includes more than $6 billion due to indirect costs (such as time lost from work) and $34.2 billion due to direct costs (such as medical expenses).

Influenza accounts for 1,532 deaths annually and pneumonia 52,294.

Alzheimer's Disease
Dementia is an overall term for diseases and conditions characterized by a decline in memory or other thinking skills that affect a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia is caused by damage to nerve cells in the brain which are called neurons. As a result of the damage, neurons can no longer function normally and may die. This, in turn, can lead to changes in memory, behavior and the ability to think clearly.

 For people with Alzheimer's disease, the damage and death of neurons eventually impair the ability to carry out basic bodily functions such as walking and swallowing.

People in the final stages of the disease are bed-bound and require around-the-clock care. Alzheimer's is ultimately fatal. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases.

An estimated 5.2 million Americans may have Alzheimer's disease in 2014, including approximately 200,000 individuals younger than age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer's.

Almost two-thirds of American seniors living with Alzheimer's are women. Of the 5 million people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's in the US, 3.2 million are women, and 1.8 million are men.

In 2013, 15.5 million family and friends provided 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer's and other dementias - care valued at $220.2 billion, which is nearly eight times the total revenue of McDonald's in 2012.

Alzheimer's disease is one of the most expensive conditions in the nation. In 2014, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer's will total an estimated $214 billion, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Despite these staggering figures, Alzheimer's will cost an estimated $1.2 trillion (in today's dollars) in 2050.

A woman's estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer's at age 65 is 1 in 6, compared with nearly 1 in 11 for a man. As real a concern as breast cancer is to women's health, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's during the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.

Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as healthy kidneys. Because of this, waste from the blood remains in the body and may cause other health problems.

It is estimated that more than 10% of adults in the US - more than 20 million people - may have CKD, of varying levels of seriousness. The chances of having CKD increase with age; it increases after 50 years of age and is most common among adults older than 70 years.

Chronic kidney disease is widespread and costly, costing Medicare upward of $41 billion annually.

Awareness and understanding about kidney disease is critically low, with an estimated 26 million Americans having chronic kidney disease. Among those with severe (stage 4) kidney disease, fewer than half realize that they have damaged kidneys.

Note: Although obesity is not listed as a major disease, it should be, especially since more than two-thirds (68.8%) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese; and, obesity is a major risk factor for the top 3 diseases. 

FYI: Every year, about 35 million people visit the hospital (average 4.8 days stay) in the U.S. That's about 96,000 people a day.

Every year, about 2.5 million people die in the U.S. (56 million worldwide). In the U.S., that's roughly 6800 people a day that die (153,000 worldwide).

Note: Globally, the top 3 diseases are the same around the world as they are in the United States.

Good News
Although many of these disease are increasing each year, there are still strategies and activities that we can implement to prevent these diseases and, in some cases, even reverse the effects of these diseases.

The most important thing that you can do right now is to educate yourself about disease and nutrition, and why prescription drugs are not the answer, especially long term.

Then, be proactive and begin to gradually change your diet over time. If you don't like the idea of changing your diet, then, do it gradually and keep some of your favorite foods or comfort foods as part of your diet. That way you'll have a better chance of sticking with the diet. Also, the really nice thing about this kind of proactive strategy is that if you should develop one of these diseases, then, it will take you a lot less time to implement the complete diet and go "all in".

In future blog posts, we will discuss specific steps that you can take for each of these diseases, including specific foods, supplements and compounds that actually kill cancer cells.

In addition, we will also discuss the Number 1 problem that is fueling these diseases along with the top 3 major nutritional deficiencies that are fueling many of the top 10 diseases, especially heart disease, cancer, and diabetes -- along with obesity, chronic fatigue and many autoimmune diseases.

We will also discuss why the supplements you're taking right now aren't really working and may actually be fueling a nutrient deficiency that is going undetected.

Note: For more details, refer to the DTD online training program and the DTD books/ebooks on heart disease, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune diseases.

Top Killer Diseases in U.S.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

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