Getting What We Deserve: Health and Medical Care in America
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 okt. 2009 - 152 pagina's
One of America's leading public health experts finds a host of ills in this country's health care system:
• The United States spends nearly twice as much on health care as the rest of the developed world, yet has higher infant mortality rates and shorter longevity than most nations.• We have access to many different drugs that accomplish the same end at varying costs, and nearly all are cheaper abroad.• Our life span had doubled over the past century before we developed effective drugs to treat most diseases or even considered altering the human genome.• The benefits of almost all newly developed treatments are marginal, while their costs are high.
In his blunt assessment of the state of public health in America, Alfred Sommer argues that human behavior has a stronger effect on wellness than almost any other factor.
Despite exciting advances in genomic research and cutting-edge medicine, Sommer explains, most illness can be avoided or managed with simple, low-tech habits such as proper hand washing, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and not smoking. But, as he also shows, this is easier said than done.
Sommer finds that our fascination with medical advances sometimes keeps us from taking responsibility for our individual well-being. Instead of focusing on prevention, we wait for medical science to cure us once we become sick.
Humorous, sometimes acerbic, and always well informed, Sommer’s thought-provoking book will change the way you look at health care in America.
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lNFECTlON The first among the biological factors—perhaps because we know
more and can do more about it—is infection. ln 1969, U.S. Surgeon General
William H. Stewart allegedly told Congress that it was “time to close the books on
I infection with the smallpox virus and the onset of clinical disease, and the de ay
between vaccination and the onset ofthe protection it provided (vaccination
prevented clinical smallpox among individuals vaccinated as late as five days
Within the past two decades, we've learned that virtually all cervical cancer in the
world is the result of infection with a sexually transmitted virus: the human
papilloma virus (H PV). HPV comes in many strains, some that cause cancer and
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