From 1990 to 2010, the United States made substantial progress in improving health: Life expectancy at birth increased, all-cause death rates at all ages decreased, and age-specific rates of years lived with disability remained stable, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported recently. Morbidity and chronic disability, however, now account for nearly half of the U.S. health burden, and improvements in population health in the United States have not kept pace with advances in population health in other wealthy nations.
“[The study] shows a measurable improvement in the health of Americans, and doctors throughout the country are proud to partner with patients to help them live longer, healthier lives,” AMA president Ardis Hoven, MD, said in a statement. “But this study is also a wake-up call about the need to reduce the burden of chronic disease for America’s patients. The American Medical Association is continuing its leadership in patient health by focusing on improving health outcomes for two of the nation’s most troubling chronic conditions: cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.”