Some 62.5% of American adults have what can be defined as a “pre-existing condition,” equal to an “astonishing” 152 million citizens, according to this year’s Global Health and Wellness Survey. That statistic—not widely recognized—could have been a factor in the resistance to repealing the Affordable Care Act that played out over the past year. Published annually, the Kantar Health survey, conducted for more than 165 conditions in 10 countries, represents “the largest global self-reported general population survey in the healthcare industry,” according to the firm. The Survey helps healthcare providers, including pharma companies, to size markets by therapy classes, measure costs and inform brand strategies, among other opportunities.
Some other US-centric highlights:
- Even with the “official” diagnosis of a pre-existing condition among 62.5% of adults, a higher proportion—80%–report experiencing a condition that warrants treatment
- One-third of Americans prefer to treat themselves with an OTC medicine rather than depending on a doctor to prescribe a drug
- 41% of Americans, diagnosed with a pre-existing condition, report using cost saving strategies, including pill-cutting, taking less medicine than prescribed, or buying them less often than directed, to offset the costs of prescription medicines
- At 31.5%, the US has the highest reported rate of adult obesity, which in turn ties into elevated rates of cardiovascular conditions, metabolic diseases like diabetes and cancer.
The Global Survey also polls citizens in the EU5 countries, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil and other countries. Some comparative data:
- While the US is first in healthcare spending, it is seventh in longevity; Japan and Spain have the highest longevity of countries surveyed, but rank fourth and eighth in healthcare spending
- While the US leads in almost all therapeutic areas in terms of patients experiencing a condition, it has one of the lowest rates of work productivity impairment and actual impairment measured; China has the highest rate
- Compared to the EU5, Japan and emerging markets (Brazil, China and Russia), the US has the highest rates of adults performing exercise, and the lowest rates of smoking.
The full report is available here.