This book describes the scientific advances that have taken place in the past 20 years in preventive medicine, disease surveillance, vaccine and therapeutic development, and information technology in the U.S. It reflects the changing demographics of the U.S, the changes that have taken place in health care, and the growing impact of global forces on our national health status. The first section of this book explains the history of the book, and how to use it as a systematic approach to health improvement, and the leading health indicators (LHIs). The LHIs highlight the main health priorities for the U.S, such as individual behaviors, physical, social and environmental factors, and health system issues that affect the health of individuals and communities.
The book also highlights several objectives that shall be used to measure progress throughout the decade. The leading health indicators include: physical activity, mental health, overweight and obesity, tobacco use, injury and violence, environmental quality, substance abuse, immunization, responsible sexual behavior and access to health.
The second section gives detailed information on the objectives for improving health and the 28 focus areas of healthy People 2010. Furthermore, determinants of health have been clearly stated. These have a profound effect on the health of individuals, communities and the nation. The determinants include: individual biology and behavior, physical and social environments, policies and interventions and access to quality health care. These provide a clue on the health status of the population. The health status is measured by birth and death rates, life expectancy, quality of life, morbidity from specific diseases, risk factors, use of ambulatory care and inpatient care. Others are accessibility of health personnel and facilities, financing health care, health insurance cover and other factors.
Leading cause of death is frequently used to give the health status of the nation. The leading health indicators have been discussed extensively in the book. These show how physical, social and environmental factors affect health of individuals and communities.
The Main Objectives in Goals of Healthy People 2010
There are Lead Agencies which manage the focus areas. Each chapter contains a specific goal statement which frames the overall purpose of the focus area. There are also objectives that have been stated for ‘Health People 2010’. The objectives are described as either measurable – which provides direction for action or developmental objectives which provide a vision for a desired outcome or health status.
Goals of Healthy People 2010 mainly are to increase quality and years of healthy life, as well as to eliminate health disparities.
Several health concerns have been discussed. These include: Arthritis, cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, disability and secondary conditions, educational and community based-programs, environmental health, family planning and food safety. Others include: health communication, heart disease and stroke, HIV, immunization and infectious diseases, injury and violence prevention, maternal, infant and child health, medical product safety, mental health and mental disorders, nutrition and overweight. Occupational safety and health, oral health, physical activity and fitness, public health infrastructure, respiratory diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse, tobacco use, vision and hearing have also been discussed.
I’m particularly concerned about Diabetes. My nephew happens to be a victim of Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease that manifests itself as one of two major types: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 occurs in children and adolescents18 years and younger.
The Type 1 diabetes is a major health problem affecting over 140,000 American children and adolescents (National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), 1995). It is characterized by alterations in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism due to absolute lack of insulin production (American Diabetes Association, 1999). Life expectancy for patients is about 44 years if a child has it at 10 years. Management is by daily injections of insulin, self monitoring of blood glucose, and careful regulation of dietary intake and exercise. The goal in the book ‘Healthy People 2010’is to reduce the disease and economic burden of diabetes, and improve the quality of life for all people who have or are at risk for diabetes. Prevalence rates are abnormally high in the U.S. Some 800,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.