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decorative star graphic  Adulthood:
Biosocial Development
- Measuring Health -

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Ψ  Better health & mortality rates are characteristic of those who are relatively well-educated, financially secure & urban-dwelling.

    Four distinct measures of health:
•  Mortality: signifies death, as measured by the number of deaths each year per 1,000 individuals.
•  Morbidity: signifies disease, as measured by the rate of diseases of all kinds in a given population (acute- sudden/severe or chronic-extending long time).
•  Disability: Disability signifies long-term difficulty in performing normal activities of daily life because of some physical, mental, or emotional condition.
•  Vitality: signifies a measure of health that refers to how healthy & energetic physically, intellectually, & socially an individual actually feels. Vitality is joie de vivre, the zest for life.

Ψ  Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs): a way of comparing mere survival without vitality to survival with health; QALYs indicate how many years of full vitality are lost to a particular physical disease or disability; expressed in terms of life expectancy as adjusted for quality of life. A year of life adjusted for its quality or its value. A year in perfect health is considered equal to 1.0 QALY. The value of a year in ill health would be discounted. For example, a year bedridden might have a value equal to 0.5 QALY. For example if a person lives to be 70 in near perfect health, that is expressed as 70 QALYs.

Ψ  Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs): are the reciprocal of Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs). DALYs are a measure of the impact that disability has on the quality of life. A reduction in QALYs means an increase in DALYs.

Ψ  Global Burden of Disease: The total reduction in vitality that is caused by disease-induced disability.
1.   Lower respiratory tract infections
 2.   HIV/AIDS
  3.   Birth complications & defects
   4.   Diarrhea
    5.   Unipolar (major) depression
     6.   Heart disease (1st in U.S.)
      7.   Vaccine-preventable diseases
       8.   Stroke
         9.   Malaria
          10.  Malnutrition

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

 Ψ  The top four health problems are treatable by modern medicine (treatment lags in 3rd world countries).
  Note: cancer which is 2nd in America, does not even appear on the worldwide top 10 chart.





(1) Diseases of the heart heart attack (mainly) 28.5%
(2) Malignant neoplasms cancer 22.8%
(3) Cerebrovascular disease stroke 6.7%
(4) Chronic lower respiratory disease emphysema, chronic bronchitis 5.1%
(5) Unintentional injuries accidents 4.4%
(6) Diabetes mellitus diabetes 3.0%
(7) Influenza and pneumonia flu & pneumonia 2.7%
(8) Alzheimer's Disease Alzheimer's senility 2.4%
(9) Nephritis and Nephrosis kidney disease 1.7%
(10) Septicemia systemic infection 1.4%
(11) Intentional self-harm suicide 1.3%
(12) Chronic Liver/Cirrhosis liver disease 1.1%
(13) Essential Hypertension high blood pressure 0.8%
(14) Assault homicide 0.7%
(15) All other causes other 17.4%

[Source: National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 53, Number 5 (October 2004)]

Ψ  Compared to middle-aged women, men are twice as likely to die of heart disease. Contributing to the gender difference in mortality is the fact that men are more likely to smoke, drink, be overweight, repress emotions & ignore their medical symptoms. Beginning in middle age, however, women have higher morbidity & disability rates than men.

Ψ  This gender difference in morbidity is exacerbated by the focus of medical research on acute illnesses rather than chronic conditions.

Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates
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