Rise in pills comes as no big surprise
We’re sure some of you have gauged your advancing years by the number of pill bottles in your medicine box or cabinet.
Now, there’s actual data that shows more Americans than ever — and not just old folks — are taking prescribed drugs.
The Journal of the American Medical Association recently cited research showing that in 2012, 59 percent of Americans age 20 or over — roughly 3 in 5 — took prescription medication. That reflects a 16 percent increase from 2000. The percentage of Americans taking five or more prescriptions almost doubled during that 12-year time frame, to 15 percent.
Not surprisingly, older Americans take more prescription drugs, but the numbers continued to point upward even when age adjusted.
The researchers’ only real conclusion was an attempt to connect the increased use with the U.S. obesity rate (estimated at 34.9 percent for adults and 17 percent for children in the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Eight of the 10 most prescribed drugs in the U.S. are for diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and heart failure, ailments linked to carrying excess poundage.
However, the study found a generalized increase in prescription usage, although those who contend Americans take too many antibiotics will celebrate a 26 percent reduction there.
So excuse us for a “well duh” reaction to this study, although we’re not going to criticize the researchers’ work. There’s nothing wrong with compiling such data to gauge public health trends.
We’ll offer some non-scientific assessments. People don’t like to be sick and either can’t afford or don’t want to be away from workplaces where employees are constantly asked to do more with less.
They don’t like pain, physical or mental.
They don’t like getting old and want to keep grains of sand in the top of the hourglass as long as possible.
They possess the most basic human instinct — staying alive.
There are a lot more pills available these days to address those issues. Doctors prescribe them, pharmacists dispense them and people take them.
Actually it’s kind of simple, isn’t it?
Reprinted from the Jacksonville Daily News
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