More than half of all Michigan adults are living with a chronic disease or condition. By age 65, three in four U.S. adults will likely have two or more chronic conditions. Chronic diseases are long-term conditions that can be controlled - but not cured. Which means once you are diagnosed with a chronic condition, you'll likely be managing it for a long time. That makes chronic conditions not just a health issue for families, but an economic issue. Every year Americans spend $3.3 trillion on health care - and 90% of those bills are related to chronic and mental health conditions. In Michigan, $10.6 billion is spent every year caring for Michigan residents with chronic diseases. So how can you manage your condition so it's not as costly? Can these diseases be prevented? In honor of Health Literacy Month this October, MI Blues Perspectives is starting a monthly series to help you understand the facts. Over the next year, we'll explore most of the major chronic conditions including heart disease, cancer and diabetes, as well as obesity, arthritis, Alzheimer's Disease, epilepsy and tooth decay. We'll be addressing the top five myths about each disease. For example, did you know:
- People at any age can develop diabetes - not just older people.
- Chest pain isn't the only symptom of a heart attack.
- Obesity isn't only caused by a lack of physical activity or unhealthy eating.
We'll also show you how Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is working to reduce costs and improve outcomes for people with chronic conditions. Health care can be complex, but it doesn't have to be. We're here to help you make the best decisions for you and your family. You may also like: