And you wonder why health care costs are high and rising? Who knows how much of this is do to marketing of drugs? However, it’s pretty clear that our lifestyles have a great deal to do with prescription drug use …. and the cost of health care and insurance premiums. The United States is addicted to drugs.
For some people, perhaps many people, it’s easier to run to the doctor and get a prescription than it is to take lifestyle correcting measures, especially considering the bulk of drugs we take are related to issues around the heart and circulatory system.
Nearly 3 in 5 American adults take a prescription drug, up markedly since 2000 because of much higher use of almost every type of medication, including antidepressants and treatments for high cholesterol and diabetes.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that the prevalence of prescription drug use among people 20 and older had risen to 59 percent in 2012 from 51 percent just a dozen years earlier.
During the same period, the percentage of people taking five or more prescription drugs nearly doubled, to 15 percent from 8 percent. One likely factor driving the increased use: obesity.
Researchers noted that eight of the 10 most commonly used drugs in the United States are for hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and other elements of the “cardiometabolic syndrome.” In addition, another frequently prescribed drug treats gastroesophageal reflux, a widespread condition among the overweight or obese.
No country in the world uses more prescription drugs per capital than the US. Are we any healthier for it? We certainly are poorer and deeper in debt.