Results of a needs-assessment questionnaire, distributed jointly by Sturgis Hospital and Three Rivers Health, have been released.
The third of five fields focuses on chronic diseases.
According to the St. Joseph County 2012 Community Health Needs Assessment, 29 percent of the population surveyed suffers from chronic lower back pain and 28 percent reported having high blood pressure.
In addition, as many as 24 percent of the respondents reported having chronic diabetes; not receiving a cancer-screen test in the last two years; and not receiving a routine cardiac screening test in the last two years.
As a nation, 75 percent of health-care dollars goes to treatment of chronic diseases. These persistent conditions—the nation’s leading causes of death and disability—leave in their wake deaths that could have been prevented, lifelong disability, compromised quality of life, and burgeoning health care costs.
Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and diabetes – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems and are responsible for 70 percent of all deaths.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the nation, in Michigan and in St. Joseph County.