The Real State of Our Health

In 2003 our total national health care bill reached $1.6 trillion,  approaching 16% of the gross national product. According to John Abramson, M.D. in his book Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine, "The United States spends more than twice as much per person on health care as the other industrialized nations. . . . The excess spending on health care in the United States is like a yearly tax of more than $1800 on every American citizen. "

In addition and although our population represents just 5% of the world's total, more than half the total world supply of pharmaceuticals is used in the United States. An AARP survey from the Spring of 2003 showed that 75% of Americans 45 and older regularly use prescription drugs, a figure which  is up sharply from 52% identified by a previous survey. (AARP magazine). And a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that U.S. spending for prescription drugs tripled between 1990 and 2001 to $140.6 billion and is expected to reach $445.9 billion by 2012. (cited from Health Myths Exposed by Shane Ellison, M.Sc., p40)

Does this mean we're healthier for it?  Or are we headed toward a Modern Holocaust?

Let's look at life expectancy.

While it is true that today we live longer as a group, we are NOT living longer as individuals. For example if you just take out the very high infant mortality rates for the turn of the century, our average life span has increased by only 3.7 years since 1900.  Add the health gains achieved for young adults just through a variety of improved sanitation initiatives that were being instituted during that time and these "longevity" gains are reduced even further. Thus it may surprise you to learn that there were actually MORE "centarians" relative to population
100 years ago than there are today. In other words more individuals lived longer in 1900 even though average life span was shorter because of high infant mortality rates and death due to disease caused by poor water and public sanitation methods.

So, how does the U.S. compare to other countries around the world in terms of life span?

One of the earliest tables used to rank countries in terms of life expectancy showed that the U.S. was ranked 7th out of 21 industrialized  nations in 1950. By 1990 the U.S. had dropped to 18th out of the same 21 countries. And under the new system called the Disability Adjusted Life Expectancy (DALE) developed by World Health Organization scientists, the U.S. ranks 24th out of 191 countries. According to the director of WHO's Global Programme on Evidence for Health Policy, Christopher Murray, M.D., Ph.D., "The position of the U.S. is one of the major surprises of the new rating system. .  . Basically you die earlier and spend more time disabled if you're an American rather than a member of most other advanced countries." (Note that the U.S. Census Bureau ranks the U.S. 28th in life expectancy.)

Perhaps even more ominous were the results of a recent study which compared 16 "health markers" considered indicative of good health between the "top" 13 countries. This study found that the United States ranks 12th out of the top 13 countries. These 13 countries, listed in order of  their ranking (with the first being the best) are Japan, Sweden, Canada, France, Australia, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany. In regards to separate health indicators, the United States ranks as follows: 13th for low birth weight; 13th for neonatal mortality and infant mortality overall; 11th for post neonatal mortality; 13th for years of potential life lost; 11th for life expectancy at 1 year for females, 12th for males; 10th for life expectancy at 15 years for females and for males; 10th for life expectancy at 40 years for females, 9th for males; 7th for life expectancy at 65 years for females and for males; 3rd for life expectancy at 80 years for females and males; and finally 10th for age-adjusted mortality. (cited from Health Myths Exposed by Shane Ellison, MSc pp44-45)


 SO-O-O-O . . .


Well, the National Center for Health Statistics places the U.S. a dismal 27th in international ranking for infant mortality.

And there's more  - about which we need to ask: How big (or small) a role do genes play in these exploding numbers?

As one example of health decline in the modern age of miracle medicine: a  February 4, 2001 article in the Chicago Tribune reported that "Nearly half of Americans suffer at least one chronic disease, everything from  allergies to heart disease - 20 million more than doctors had anticipated this year."

Another ominous sign: "The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data has shown that American’s lymphocyte counts are progressively going down, down, down, i.e., a steady decline in immune systems. In 1981, Dr. H.F. Pross did a study of the Natural Killer (NK) cell count of average Americans; NK cell count is measured in lytic units, or LU. The LU count was 152. In 1991, Dr. R.D. Herberman made a similar study and found the LU count of average Americans had dropped to 135. In 1997, Dr. Gerald See did another NK cell count study and found the LU count of average Americans had dropped to 108, or a 1% drop per annum since Dr. Pross’ study.  A weakened immune system leads to cancer, or lowered resistance to flu, cold, infections, or the next epidemic. Official Medicine has nothing for a weakened immune system, which you don’t get from a lack of antibiotics – but you may from too many of them. . . .  America faces a Health Challenge and is not prepared for it." p 398, Politics in Healing by Dennis Haley