Are We Worrying about the Wrong Diseases?


Are our major health concerns misplaced?

It seems so, according to two recent surveys. One poll, done by the Associated Press in collaboration with, found middle-aged Americans saw cancer to be the greatest health threat, followed by memory loss. And that opinion seems to cross borders: A phone survey by Alzheimer Europe of 2,700 people in Spain, Germany, Poland and the United States also found cancer to be the most worrisome disease. Alzheimer's, a memory-loss disease, was a close second in every country surveyed except Poland.

Yet neither cancer nor Alzheimer's Disease is the biggest killer of Americans. The National Center for Health Statistics says that heart disease is the deadliest health problem, killing close to 617,000 people every year. Cancer and Alzheimer's kill about 563,000 and 75,000 people, respectively.

Heart disease is also the most costly medical condition for American adults. A 2008 study, directed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, calculated the price tag at $90.9 billion. Cancer cost $71.4 billion and mental disorders $59.9 billion.

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I am a little confused on which they think is more important the alz and cancer which affects the quality of life for not only the patient but for everyone taking care of them and living with them, or the heart disease which can shorten your life. I am a great believer in quality before quantity so I dont want my heart fixed if my mind is going or gone.
This article really got to me. I keep thinking about it. It totally discounts what the family caregiver provides. Other articles are just silly, but this one completely ignores the caregiving contribution. That makes me mad. I don't like to be dissed.
So what's the difference? They are all at the top and we need to keep ourselves healthy and take preventative measures.