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A bad economy is bad for your health

Many people are cutting back on medication and doctors visits in order to cut back on expenses, according to new reports.

This trend is of concern for those whose health suffers in bad economic times.

Patients cut back on health

In November 2008, the Commonwealth Fund released a global study of patients with seven chronic conditions; high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, lung problems, cancer and depression.

The study found that many patients did not get care because it was too expensive.

The percentage of patients who didn’t get care because of cost:

  • 54% of Americans – that’s over half!
  • 36% of Australians
  • 26% of Germans
  • 25% of Canadians

They either did not visit a doctor when they were ill, missed a test or treatment, or did not fill a prescription. The study also found that between 2001 and 2007, the number of people who said high costs stopped them from getting needed care grew from 29% to 45%.

The report “In Chronic Condition: Experiences of Patients with Complex Health Care Needs, in Eight Countries, 2008″ was published by The Commonwealth Fund.

Healthy tips for a bad economy

Cardiologist Prof Watson from the University of California, Los Angeles, said “We’ve seen an increase in patients complaining about heart palpitations, anxiety and stress over the past months. However, much of heart disease can be prevented.”

UCLA cardiologists offer these tips for hard economic times:

  • Eat better and exercise more – walking is free and great exercise.
  • Don’t skimp on health care – maintain your regular check ups, getting sick will cost you more.
  • Stop smoking – its an expensive, harmful habit.
  • Reduce stress – chat with a friend to ‘de-stress’.
  • Check and monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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