16. 08. 15
posted by: Improvement in Chronic Disease Comorbidities
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We now live in a time and place where modern medicine and technology is helping to stave off many diseases and illnesses that have plagued man since the beginning of time.  This allows us to have an older population and a population that lives quite well, but lives with chronic diseases.  In fact, chronic disease comorbidities (multiple chronic conditions) were estimated to afflict around 1 in 4 Americans, roughly 75 million people.  That is a huge population of people that need help from many different health professionals and usually require several different kinds of medications.

 

Everyone within a specified area is grouped together as a population, and the health issues that frequent this area are the concern of those managing the health of the population.  Physicians and medical professionals aren’t able to get to every single person in the population, and they struggle to take care of those that are in the greatest need of help.  Sometimes the limiting factor to reaching out and helping some people is their poverty level.  Unfortunately, these are the people who need the most attention. 

 

When you have a section of your population that is suffering with many ailments, isn’t getting help for whatever reason and then when they are admitted to a hospital due to such severe symptoms, the amount of time and resources becomes daunting.  By no means does this mean that people shouldn’t be admitted or be turned away from healthcare services, in fact, there is a growing demand that more people should be served, no matter their economic or any other status.  This is why Obamacare was implemented and why there are so many clinics and hospitals work to serve those in under privileged populations. 

 

Most people don’t seek out the medical services of a hospital, but rather utilize the conveniences of clinics and regular doctor’s offices to aid in health issues.  The problem that many of these clinics and offices are facing is the variety of diseases and illnesses that are present in their patients is far beyond general practitioner’s foundational knowledge.  This has forced these facilities to branch out and either staff medical professionals with broader base of conditions or to team up with other facilities that have staff that can accommodate the growing need for services. 

 

Chronic disease comorbidities have a huge effect on a patient’s health and ability to live a normal life.  Treating one ailment may aggravate another or one medication may negate or have deadly effects when combined with another.  Decisions have to be made to manage certain diseases and help the patient to improve over time.  The hardship in all of this is there isn’t always a lot of data or hands-on experience to draw from.  Research and studies are being done now, but this is an area where medical professionals are having to dig for any information they can to understand what is best for their patient. 

 

To get a better picture of some of the diseases and illnesses that the healthcare community is facing when talking about comorbidity factors include:

  • Hypertension
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Depression and other mental illnesses
  • Diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • Arthritis
  • Ulcers
  • Colitis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Chronic kidney disease


Working to treat any given population with comorbidities is going to be the norm from now on.  There is a demand placed upon the healthcare industry that asks them to keep us healthy and active for as long as possible.  When we can’t be active, we at least expect that there is some sort of medication or treatment that will help us to be around for the next family reunion.  But we all know that there are diseases and illnesses that no matter how far medical technology has gone is still not enough; when it’s your time, it’s your time.

 

Population health management has made a lot of progress when it comes to education.  Many medical professionals are able to better communicate with their patients because the patient has sought out information, understands what is going on to some degree or another, and then is able to let the doctor know of any challenges, improvements or ask further questions.  This education is made immensely more easy to search out with the help of the internet.  But there are also public service announcements and educational programs on the TV and internet that help to make people aware of symptoms they might just pass off as a common cold or other less severe illness. 

 

Chronic disease comorbidities are not something to be feared, but something to be aware of from both the standpoint of a physician and a patient.  Not everything is known about how to help populations that suffer with a higher than average number of people with illnesses.  However, as more studies are done, and hopefully as more people work to keep themselves better, those numbers will decrease.  Also, it is essential that we find better ways to help the population that is below poverty level to not be left behind and only treated when things become urgent.  As more people take responsibility for themselves and others, we will see a greater increase in overall health in all populations.

 

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