Critical Illness Study
This study caught our eye because many of our colleagues have mentioned that they assume they will be diagnosed with cancer or some form of critical illness (if not terminal) at some point in their lifetime.
PRNewswire reviewed a recent study “commissioned by Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions (IWS)” found that “middle-income Americans on average give themselves about a 1-in-5 chance of being diagnosed with a critical illness in the next three years and a 1-in-2 chance of being diagnosed with a critical illness within the next 20 years.”
Perhaps not surprising, the study also “found that those who feel more vulnerable in the short term—with a perceived diagnosis risk greater than 50% over the next three years—tend to have lower income, fewer resources and poor health.”
Critical Illness Prevention
Disappointing however, “the study reveals that middle-income Americans are aware and concerned by the risk of critical illnesses, for themselves and their families, not enough are regularly engaged in health-promoting activities:
- 49% engage in physical activity
- 47% eat healthy foods
- 43% get eight hours of sleep
- 37% see a dentist”
“While more than three-fourths of middle-income Americans have a personal healthcare provider whom they see at least annually, fewer seek regular preventative care. Only one-third received a flu shot (during the flu season), less than two-thirds of women 40 and older received a mammogram in the past two years, and only about half of all middle-income Americans older than 50 have had a colonoscopy. When asked why they are not engaged in healthier behaviors, most cite external factors—such as the lack of time and money or physical limitations—rather than personal reasons, such as a lack of motivation.”
Critical Illness Defined
For the purpose of this study, critical illness was defined as “Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke.”
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Please don’t let your critical illness concerns paralyze you from taking critical action!