Then I read the next article on how if you are under 50 you are screwed. And without dinner.
Given what we have seen of late I am sure Teacher's Unions/Democrats/Liberals/Single Mothers/Gays/Immigrants/Atheists or Non-Christians/Mentally Ill are the real problems instead of the institutes that are in place to somehow resolve or repair the broken safety nets that were supposedly set into place to catch those not so fortunate to be rich/white establishment/John Galt/Horatio Alger. Guess again.
But what both articles say to me is that we have a full on collapse of the house and the foundation in which our house sits. It is not sustainable, liveable or tolerable. While many become preoccupied with party politics or silly acts of ## and "like" the real problems go ignored and in turn untended. We are losing this war. This is the war on longevity of a Country. A war that has far wider implications and purpose than the one on Terror, Drugs or Class.
For Americans Under 50, Stark Findings on Health
By: SABRINA TAVERNISE
Published: January 9, 2013
Younger Americans die earlier and live in poorer health than their counterparts in 16 other developed countries, according to a new analysis of health and longevity in the United States.
Researchers have known for some time that the United States fares poorly in comparison with other rich countries, a trend established in the 1980s. But most studies have focused on older ages, when the majority of people die.
The findings were stark. Deaths before age 50 accounted for about two-thirds of the difference in life expectancy between males in the United States and their counterparts in 16 other developed countries, and about one-third of the difference for females. The countries in the analysis included Canada, Japan, Australia, France, Germany and Spain.
The 378-page study by a panel of experts convened by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council is the first to systematically compare death rates and health measures for people of all ages, including American youths. It went further than other studies in documenting the full range of causes of death, from diseases to accidents to violence. It was based on a broad review of mortality and health studies and statistics.
The panel called the pattern of higher rates of disease and shorter lives “the U.S. health disadvantage,” and said it was responsible for dragging the country to the bottom in terms of life expectancy over the past 30 years. American men ranked last in life expectancy among the 17 countries in the study, and American women ranked second to last.
“Something fundamental is going wrong,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, who led the panel. “This is not the product of a particular administration or political party. Something at the core is causing the U.S. to slip behind these other high-income countries. And it’s getting worse.
Car accidents, gun violence and drug overdoses were major contributors to years of life lost by Americans before age 50.
The rate of firearm homicides was 20 times higher in the United States than in the other countries, according to the report, which cited a 2011 study of 23 countries. And though suicide rates were lower in the United States, firearm suicide rates were six times higher.
Sixty-nine percent of all American homicide deaths in 2007 involved firearms, compared with an average of 26 percent in other countries, the study said. “The bottom line is that we are not preventing damaging health behaviors,” said Samuel Preston, a demographer and sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, who was on the panel. “You can blame that on public health officials, or on the health care system. No one understands where responsibility lies.”
Panelists were surprised at just how consistently Americans ended up at the bottom of the rankings. The United States had the second-highest death rate from the most common form of heart disease, the kind that causes heart attacks, and the second-highest death rate from lung disease, a legacy of high smoking rates in past decades. American adults also have the highest diabetes rates.
Youths fared no better. The United States has the highest infant mortality rate among these countries, and its young people have the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy and deaths from car crashes. Americans lose more years of life before age 50 to alcohol and drug abuse than people in any of the other countries.
Americans also had the lowest probability over all of surviving to the age of 50. The report’s second chapter details health indicators for youths where the United States ranks near or at the bottom. There are so many that the list takes up four pages. Chronic diseases, including heart disease, also played a role for people under 50.
“We expected to see some bad news and some good news,” Dr. Woolf said. “But the U.S. ranked near and at the bottom in almost every heath indicator. That stunned us.”
There were bright spots. Death rates from cancers that can be detected with tests, like breast cancer, were lower in the United States. Adults had better control over their cholesterol and high blood pressure. And the very oldest Americans — above 75 — tended to outlive their counterparts.
The panel sought to explain the poor performance. It noted the United States has a highly fragmented health care system, with limited primary care resources and a large uninsured population. It has the highest rates of poverty among the countries studied.
Education also played a role. Americans who have not graduated from high school die from diabetes at three times the rate of those with some college, Dr. Woolf said. In the other countries, more generous social safety nets buffer families from the health consequences of poverty, the report said.
The report also explored less conventional explanations. Could cultural factors like individualism and dislike of government interference play a role? Americans are less likely to wear seat belts and more likely to ride motorcycles without helmets.
The United States is a bigger, more heterogeneous society with greater levels of economic inequality, and comparing its health outcomes to those in countries like Sweden or France may seem lopsided. But the panelists point out that this country spends more on health care than any other in the survey. And as recently as the 1950s, Americans scored better in life expectancy and disease than many of the other countries in the current study.
By BENEDICT CAREY
Published: January 8, 2013
A study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that 55 percent of young people who tried to kill themselves had received some mental health treatment beforehand."
Most adolescents who plan or attempt suicide have already received at least some mental health treatment, raising questions about the effectiveness of current approaches to helping troubled youths, according to the largest in-depth analysis to date of suicidal behaviors in American teenagers.
Matt Nock, a professor of psychology at Harvard and the lead author of a study on the mental health treatment of troubled young people, said his research showed that “we’ve got a long way to go to do this right.” The study found that 55 percent of adolescents who plan or attempt suicide.
The study, in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, found that 55 percent of suicidal teenagers had received some therapy before they thought about suicide, planned it or tried to kill themselves, contradicting the widely held belief that suicide is due in part to a lack of access to treatment.
The findings, based on interviews with a nationwide sample of more than 6,000 teenagers and at least one parent of each, linked suicidal behavior to complex combinations of mood disorders like depression and behavior problems like attention-deficit and eating disorders, as well as alcohol and drug abuse.
The study found that about one in eight teenagers had persistent suicidal thoughts at some point, and that about a third of those who had suicidal thoughts had made an attempt, usually within a year of having the idea.
Previous studies have had similar findings, based on smaller, regional samples. But the new study is the first to suggest, in a large nationwide sample, that access to treatment does not make a big difference.
The study suggests that effective treatment for severely suicidal teenagers must address not just mood disorders, but also behavior problems that can lead to impulsive acts, experts said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,386 people between the ages of 13 and 18 committed suicide in 2010, the latest year for which numbers are available.
“I think one of the take-aways here is that treatment for depression may be necessary but not sufficient to prevent kids from attempting suicide,” said Dr. David Brent, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the study. “We simply do not have empirically validated treatments for recurrent suicidal behavior.”
The report said nothing about whether the therapies given were state of the art or carefully done, said Matt Nock, a professor of psychology at Harvard and the lead author, and it is possible that some of the treatments prevented suicide attempts. “But it’s telling us we’ve got a long way to go to do this right,” Dr. Nock said. His co-authors included Ronald C. Kessler of Harvard and researchers from Boston University and Children’s Hospital Boston. <
Margaret McConnell, a consultant in Alexandria, Va., said her daughter Alice, who killed herself in 2006 at the age of 17, was getting treatment at the time. “I think there might have been some carelessness in the way the treatment was done,” Ms. McConnell said, “and I was trusting a 17-year-old to manage her own medication. We found out after we lost her that she wasn’t taking it regularly.”
In the study, researchers surveyed 6,483 adolescents from the ages of 13 to 18 and found that 9 percent of male teenagers and 15 percent of female teenagers experienced some stretch of having persistent suicidal thoughts. Among girls, 5 percent made suicide plans and 6 percent made at least one attempt (some were unplanned).
Among boys, 3 percent made plans and 2 percent carried out attempts, which tended to be more lethal than girls’ attempts.
Over all, about one-third of teenagers with persistent suicidal thoughts went on to make an attempt to take their own lives.
Almost all of the suicidal adolescents in the study qualified for some psychiatric diagnosis, whether depression, phobias or generalized anxiety disorder. Those with an added behavior problem — attention-deficit disorder, substance abuse, explosive anger — were more likely to act on thoughts of self-harm, the study found.
Doctors have tested a range of therapies to prevent or reduce recurrent suicidal behaviors, with mixed success. Medications can ease depression, but in some cases they can increase suicidal thinking. Talk therapy can contain some behavior problems, but not all.
One approach, called dialectical behavior therapy, has proved effective in reducing hospitalizations and suicide attempts in, among others, people with borderline personality disorder, who are highly prone to self-harm.
But suicidal teenagers who have a mixture of mood and behavior issues are difficult to reach. In one 2011 study, researchers at George Mason University reduced suicide attempts, hospitalizations, drinking and drug use among suicidal adolescent substance abusers. The study found that a combination of intensive treatments — talk therapy for mood problems, family-based therapy for behavior issues and patient-led reduction in drug use — was more effective than regular therapies.
“But that’s just one study, and it’s small,” said Dr. Brent of the University of Pittsburgh. “We can treat components of the overall problem, but that’s about all.”
Ms. McConnell said that her daughter’s depression had seemed mild and that there was no warning that she would take her life. “I think therapy does help a lot of people, if it’s handled right,” she said.