Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Very Scary Statistics

[At the end of this post you will see a link to the documentary movie "Prescription for Disaster," " an in-depth investigation into the symbiotic relationships between the pharmaceutical industry, the FDA, lobbyists, lawmakers, medical schools, and researchers, and the impact this has on American consumers and their health care. … Further, the film looks at alternatives to traditional pharmacology and drug therapy, such as vitamins and nutritional supplements, and why they are often perceived as a competitive threat to the drug manufacturers." Watch the movie….I promise it will be scarier than any other horror or Halloween movie you watch today!]

I'm not into manipulation by fear, but if health care continues on its current course in the United States, statistically speaking:

One out of two – one-half! – of the men in the United States will have an issue with cancer.

Since [1998], more than 750,000 physicians have prescribed Viagra to more than 23 million men in the US. And the number of men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction has risen 250%. The trend expanded further in 2003, when the FDA approved two closely related drugs, vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis).

One out of three – one third! – of the women in the United States will have an issue with cancer.

One out of two – one half! – of the women in the United States may suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis.

People aged 50 and older who took antidepressants, including Zoloft, Prozac and other top-sellers, faced double the risk of broken bones during five years of follow-up, compared with those who didn't use the drugs, the [Canadian] study found.

1 in 150 children will be diagnosed as autistic.

From 1994- 2005 the U.S. population increased 9% while the number of prescriptions increased 71%.

The average U.S. resident had 12.3 prescriptions in 2005

12% of the people in the United States from the ages of 20 to 44 are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.

12% of the people in the United States from the ages of 20 to 44 are taking blood pressure lowering drugs.

Prices for nearly 200 of the most commonly used brand-name drugs by Americans age 50 and older rose by 3.9 percent during the first quarter of 2006 -- triple the rate of inflation -- a new AARP report found.

The most stunning statistic, however, showed the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine at an astounding 783,936 per year -- making it evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. By contrast, the number of deaths attributable to heart disease in 2001 was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251.2 (

Anyone at any age can be depressed. Even 2 and 3–year–olds can be depressed. One to 2% of children aged 5 to 11 are diagnosed with depression and that number jumps to 8% for 12 to 18–year–olds. Although equal numbers of school-age boys and girls are affected, by adolescence females are more likely to suffer from depression. Depression can coexist with a variety of other disorders; for example, over 50% of children diagnosed with a major depressive disorder will also have an anxiety disorder.


Last year [2006], doctors prescribed these medications [anti-depressants] to 207,000 children ages 6 to 12, and to 702,000 patients ages 13 to 18, according to IMS America, a health information company in Pennsylvania. Eli Lilly, the Indiana company that manufactures Prozac, reports that in the 11 years since the medicine hit pharmacy shelves, 31 million people worldwide -- 22 million in the United States—have taken the drug.

Until the early 1980s, depression was not recognized as a diagnosable illness in children and teen-agers; many mental health professionals thought children lacked the emotional maturity to become depressed. Now it’s considered a common and serious childhood illness, affecting as many as one in four youngsters by the time they finish high school. [October 2007]

[Yup, 25% of the children in the United States may be diagnosed as depressed by age 18.]


A new study has found, in less than a decade, a 40 fold increase in the number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder at their doctor's office. The increase goes along with a steep rise in use of antipsychotic medication in kids. [Seattle News, October 2007]


Ritalin Facts:

Taken from "Talking Back to Ritalin" by Peter Breggin, M.D. (2001)

"In 1990, 900,000 American kids were on Ritalin. Today some estimate the total number of children on Ritalin has increased to 4 - 5 million or more per year."

The International Narcotics Control Board (1995) deplores that "10 to 12 percent of all boys between the ages 6 and 14 in the United States have been diagnosed as having ADD and are being treated with methylphenidate (Ritalin)."

"America now uses 90% of the world's Ritalin - more than five times the rest of the world combined."


Michelle here......

I have just one question: Why isn't anyone asking: Why is this happening?

Perhaps we already have the answer, but it costs too much to clean up the air, water, soil, food, etc.

I have one more question: Why isn't anyone Demanding a Stop to this Insanity?

If treatment is required, holistic methods of healthcare are so much better for you, and should always be the first course of treatment. You may not need the others if you Go Holistic.


Click to watch 1 hour 33 minute free movie: "Prescription For Disaster"

"This documentary takes you on a journey through the tangled web of big business, the way disease is treated today, and the consequences we suffer as a society."


Geraldine said...

I think people are demanding (very slowly but steadily) better health care and more PAID choices. That's a big factor, at least up in Canada, getting the govt' to include naturopaths, addition to allopathic drs. in the health care plan.

I can remember only a few years ago having a bit of a fight on my hands at the dentist, re: fluoride rinses. I won, but I shouldn't have had to argue about it, should I? Some people seem to just cave, under pressure, when faced with the 'pros' giving their opinions and doling out their forms of treatments etc....I never bought into the drugs,surgery cures..even as a teenager, remember reading Prevention (when it was still a reputable drug-ad free mag.) and asking WHY!!!

We have to keep on demanding better and saying NO and sticking to our guns when it matters. Things are changing, people can't give up, its just taking way tooooooo long.

Michelle said...

Hi Geraldine,

As you know, this topic is one of my "hot buttons."

I had an interesting experience on all this the past week which is partly why I wrote about it. (That and the fact that it Really Is Scary.)

An eye treatment was recommended without a thorough explanation by the doctor to my husband. However, the doctor was honest enough to say that he didn't think it would provide a lot of benefit.

Naturally, my husband had an "I'm not so sure about this" feeling about it and asked me to research it.

This particular treatment works for 20 to 50% of the people who receive it (my husband is Not one of the people who, statisitcally speaking, would receive a high degree of benefit, which the doctor admitted). It must be repeated every 6 to 12 months, can cause glaucoma, the patient may need to take glaucoma drops for the duration, and the procedure has caused cataracts in 80% of the people who receive it.

(I won't even mention the really bad stuff that only a very low percentage of people experience.)

And yet, the doctor is pushing the procedure.

Here is the interesting part, though: when researching this, on websites based in the United States, there was little or no mention of complications or side effects. Of the U. S. based websites I found, only one mentioned the high degree of cataract formation, and downplayed that by saying, don't worry....we can do cataract surgery on you later!

I found the Whole Story about this treatment on a website maintained by a hospital in the U.K.

Conclusion: the truth of the downside of medicine is being withheld from people in the U.S. The people who don't do (or don't know how to do) their own research to find the real facts are most at risk. They depend on the medical/authority figure to advise them in a non-biased way, but that seldom is the case any more.

Follow the link to watch the movie 'Prescription for Disaster.' Very scary stuff.

However, people need to step up and be responsible, too, and yes, hold your ground and argue with the professional if you think he/she isn't doing what is right for you.