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Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 250,000 Deaths Every Year 

This article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is the best article I have ever seen written in the published literature documenting the tragedy of the traditional medical paradigm. 

This information is a followup of the Institute of Medicine report which hit the papers in December of last year, but the data was hard to reference as it was not in a peer-reviewed journal. Now it is published in JAMA which is the most widely circulated medical periodical in the world.  The author is Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and she describes how the US health care system may contribute to poor health.

ALL THESE ARE DEATHS PER YEAR:
·12,000 -----unnecessary surgery  
·7,000 -----medication errors in hospitals 
·20,000 ----other errors in hospitals  
·80,000 ----infections in hospitals   
·106,000 ---non-error, negative effects of drugs 
These total to 250,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes!!

What does the word iatrogenic mean? This term is defined as induced in a patient by a physician's activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially of a complication of treatment.

Dr. Starfield offers several warnings in interpreting these numbers: 
·First, most of the data are derived from studies in hospitalized patients. 
·Second, these estimates are for deaths only and do not include negative effects that are associated with disability or discomfort. 
·Third, the estimates of death due to error are lower than those in the IOM report. 

If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000. In any case, 225,000 deaths per year constitutes the third leading cause of death in the United States, after deaths from heart disease and cancer. Even if these figures are overestimated, there is a wide margin between these numbers of deaths and the next leading cause of death (cerebrovascular disease).

Another analysis:
116 million extra physician visits ·
 77 million extra prescriptions 
17 million emergency department visits 
8 million hospitalizations 
3 million long-term admissions 
199,000 additional deaths 
$77 billion in extra costs.

The high cost of the health care system is considered to be a deficit, but seems to be tolerated under the assumption that better health results from more expensive care. However, evidence from a few studies indicates that as many as 20% to 30% of patients receive inappropriate care.  An estimated 44,000 to 98,000 among them die each year as a result of medical errors.  This might be tolerated if it resulted in better health, but does it? Of 13 countries in a recent comparison, the United States ranks an average of 12th (second from the bottom) for 16 available health indicators. More specifically, the ranking of the US on several indicators was: 
·13th (last) for low-birth-weight percentages 
·13th for neonatal mortality and infant mortality overall  
·11th for postneonatal mortality 
·13th for years of potential life lost (excluding external causes) 
·11th for life expectancy at 1 year for females, 12th for males 
·10th for life expectancy at 15 years for females, 12th for males 
·10th for life expectancy at 40 years for females, 9th for males 
·7th for life expectancy at 65 years for females, 7th for males 
·3rd for life expectancy at 80 years for females, 3rd for males 
·10th for age-adjusted mortality

The poor performance of the US was recently confirmed by a World Health Organization study, which used different data and ranked the United States as 15th among 25 industrialized countries.
There is a perception that the American public "behaves badly" by smoking, drinking, and perpetrating violence." However the data does not support this assertion.

The proportion of females who smoke ranges from 14% in Japan to 41% in Denmark; in the United States, it is 24% (fifth best). For males, the range is from 26% in Sweden to 61% in Japan; it is 28% in the United States (third best).
The US ranks fifth best for alcoholic beverage consumption. 
The US has relatively low consumption of animal fats (fifth lowest in men aged 55-64 years in 20 industrialized countries) and the third lowest mean cholesterol concentrations among men aged 50 to 70 years among 13 industrialized countries.

Lack of technology is certainly not a contributing factor to the US's low ranking. 
* Among 29 countries, the United States is second only to Japan in the availability of magnetic resonance imaging units and computed tomography scanners per million population.  
* Japan, however, ranks highest on health, whereas the US ranks among the lowest. 
* It is possible that the high use of technology in Japan is limited to diagnostic technology not matched by high rates of treatment, whereas in the US, high use of diagnostic technology may be linked to more treatment. 
* Supporting this possibility are data showing that the number of employees per bed (full-time equivalents) in the United States is highest among the countries ranked, whereas they are very low in Japan, far lower than can be accounted for by the common practice of having family members rather than hospital staff provide the amenities of hospital care.
Journal American Medical Association Vol 284 July 26, 2000

COMMENT: Folks, this is what they call a "Landmark Article". Only several ones like this are published every year. One of the major reasons it is so huge is that it is published in JAMA which is the largest and one of the most respected medical journals in the entire world. I did find it most curious that the best wire service in the world, Reuter's, did not pick up this article. I have no idea why they let it slip by.I would encourage you to bookmark this article and review it several times so you can use the statistics to counter the arguments of your friends and relatives who are so enthralled with the traditional medical paradigm. These statistics prove very clearly that the system is just not working. It is broken and is in desperate need of repair.

I was previously fond of saying that drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in this country. However, this article makes it quite clear that the more powerful number is that doctors are the third leading cause of death in this country killing nearly a quarter million people a year. The only more common causes are cancer and heart disease. This statistic is likely to be seriously underestimated as much of the coding only describes the cause of organ failure and does not address iatrogenic causes at all.

Japan seems to have benefited from recognizing that technology is wonderful, but just because you diagnose something with it, one should not be committed to undergoing treatment in the traditional paradigm. Their health statistics reflect this aspect of their philosophy as much of their treatment is not treatment at all, but loving care rendered in the home.

Care, not treatment, is the answer. Drugs, surgery and hospitals are rarely the answer to chronic health problems. Facilitating the God-given healing capacity that all of us have is the key. Improving the diet, exercise, and lifestyle are basic. Effective interventions for the underlying emotional and spiritual wounding behind most chronic illness are also important clues to maximizing health and reducing disease.

Author/Article Information
Author Affiliation: Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Md. Corresponding Author and Reprints: Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 624 N Broadway, Room 452, Baltimore, MD 21205-1996 . 
REFERENCES
1. Schuster M, McGlynn E, Brook R. How good is the quality of health care in the United States?
Milbank Q. 1998;76:517-563. 
2. Kohn L, ed, Corrigan J, ed, Donaldson M, ed. To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1999.
3. Starfield B. Primary Care: Balancing Health Needs, Services, and Technology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1998.
4. World Health Report 2000. 
5. Kunst A. Cross-national Comparisons of Socioeconomic Differences in Mortality. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Erasmus University; 1997.
6. Law M, Wald N. Why heart disease mortality is low in France: the time lag explanation. BMJ. 1999;313:1471-1480.
7. Starfield B. Evaluating the State Children's Health Insurance Program: critical considerations.  Annu Rev Public Health. 2000;21:569-585. 
8. Leape L.Unecessarsary surgery. Annu Rev Public Health. 1992;13:363-383. 
9. Phillips D, Christenfeld N, Glynn L. Increase in US medication-error deaths between 1983 and 1993. Lancet. 1998;351:643-644. 
10. Lazarou J, Pomeranz B, Corey P. Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients. JAMA. 1998;279:1200-1205. 
11. Weingart SN, Wilson RM, Gibberd RW, Harrison B. Epidemiology and medical error. BMJ. 2000;320:774-777. 
12. Wilkinson R. Unhealthy Societies: The Afflictions of Inequality. London, England: Routledge; 1996.
13. Evans R, Roos N. What is right about the Canadian health system? Milbank Q. 1999;77:393-399. 
14. Guyer B, Hoyert D, Martin J, Ventura S, MacDorman M, Strobino D. Annual summary of vital statistics1998. Pediatrics. 1999;104:1229-1246. 
15. Harrold LR, Field TS, Gurwitz JH. Knowledge, patterns of care, and outcomes of care for generalists and specialists. J Gen Intern Med. 1999;14:499-511. 
16. Donahoe MT. Comparing generalist and specialty care: discrepancies, deficiencies, and excesses. Arch Intern Med. 1998;158:1596-1607. 
17. Anderson G, Poullier J-P. Health Spending, Access, and Outcomes: Trends in Industrialized Countries. New York, NY: The Commonwealth Fund; 1999.
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19. Shi L, Starfield B. Income inequality, primary care, and health indicators.  J Fam Pract.1999;48:275-284. 

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When it comes to health knowledge, doctors are surprisingly ignorant
Monday, October 11, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

(NaturalNews) America is a nation of widespread health and nutritional illiteracy. And I'm not just talking about the knowledge gaps of health consumers, either. It's the doctors and health "experts" who have astonishing gaps in knowledge that should be considered basic health information in any first-world nation.

Parents, too, lack any real literacy in nutrition and health. That's largely because medical journals, health authorities and the mass media actively misinform them about health and nutrition issues, hoping to prevent people from learning how to take care of their own health using simple, natural remedies and cures.

Here are some shocking examples of the huge gaps in knowledge among doctors, parents and others...

What your doctor doesn't know might actually harm you

• Most doctors have little or no understanding of the nutritional difference between LIVE foods and DEAD foods. Most doctors think they're nutritional identical!

• Most conventional doctors don't know that the NIH actively funded and operated criminal medical experiments on human prisoners, 

• Most parents have no idea that processed meats (bacon, sausage, sandwich ham, etc.) are laced with the sodium nitrite coloring chemical that promotes aggressive brain, pancreas and colon cancers. 

• Most doctors have no idea that seasonal flu vaccines are little more than quackery and simply don't offer any real protection against the flu. 

• Very few parents know the difference between the words "natural" and "organic" on food labels. Most parents just think "natural" means "organic" and so they buy more products that claim to be natural (even when the word means nothing).

• Few doctors realize that statin drugs were engineered from a molecule called lovastatin, found naturally in red yeast rice. The drug companies pirated the molecule from nature (biopiracy), then patented it. Then they pressured the FDA to declare that red yeast rice was an "adulterated" supplemented because -- get this -- it naturally contains the drug they stole from it!

• Most parents are completely befuddled by the nutritional claims of infant formula. They are astonishingly unaware that some of the most popular infant formula products such as Similac are made with over 50% sugars. 

• Virtually no one outside the natural health community knows that soy protein is extracted using a toxic, explosive chemical called hexane. 

• Very few people know that the carmine food coloring used in fruit punch drinks and strawberry yogurt is actually made from smashed red beetles.

• Most doctors remain completely unaware of the anti-cancer nutrients found in celery, grapefruit, cabbage and chocolate. They tend to believe that medicine comes from laboratories, not food.

• Very few parents are aware that processed milk and dairy products promote obesity, heart disease and acne in their teenage children. Astonishingly, most adults have been fooled into thinking that yogurt is good for them because it contains probiotics (never mind the homogenized milk fats).

• Most people of all ages, come to think of it, believe that frozen yogurt is somehow good for them, even though it's really just processed ice cream sprinkled with probiotic powder. 

• Most doctors are completely unaware of the health dangers of aspartame and MSG and make no attempt to educate their patients about avoiding these excitotoxins.

• Most people don't know that if you sign up as an organ donor, literally millions of dollars may be made off your body parts while your organs go to murderers! Also, if you're an organ donor recipient, you may receive a cancer-ridden, diseased organ as your "new" transplant. 

• Think cooking on non-stick cookware is safe? Most people have no idea that non-stick cookware surfaces are made of highly toxic chemicals, and if you heat a non-stick pan on the stove, it will actually off-gas enough toxic chemicals to kill your pet parakeet (this is not a myth).

• Very few doctors know that the human body has a second brain. It's located in your gut, and it's a highly complex mass of interconnected neurons that give real "intelligence" to your digestion and your interactions with food. There's even a book called "The Second Brain" that explains how it works.

• A typical conventional doctor cannot tell you the health benefits of blueberries -- even though blueberries can make statin drugs obsolete for many people! Most naturopaths, however, are well aware of the benefits of blueberries and may even prescribe them to you.

• Most doctors DO know the truth about how toxic chemotherapy is for patients, but they won't tell patients the details of what they know. It turns out that 91% of oncologists would not choose chemotherapy for themselves. 

This list could continue, of course. There are seemingly countless examples of extreme gaps in the knowledge of doctors who should frankly know better.

Med school graduates get an "F" in health
So why do conventional medical doctors remain so ignorant of the basics of human health and nutrition? Because medical schools don't teach health. They teach disease, surgery and pharmacology. They offer virtually no material on nutrition, disease prevention or mind-body medicine, so the doctors that graduate from medical school are nutritionally illiterate and lacking basic health knowledge.

Yet, at the same time, they are being told that they know everything about health and the human body, so they suffer from the most dangerous combination of all: A smug, know-it-all attitude combined with far-reaching health illiteracy. This is one of the key reasons why America's health care system is such an utter failure -- the people who are supposed to possess more health knowledge than everybody else are the very same people who actually lack it. In a sense, they have been "de-educated" by medical schools and come out knowing less than they did when they entered med school.

I'm not the only one who thinks this. In fact, you'll find some of these concerns reflected by other doctors who are appalled at the arrogance and health illiteracy of their own peers. For example, a commentary published in the July 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) features Dr. Pronovost, a professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explaining how physician arrogance is killing tens of thousands of patients across America today. 

Holistically-trained doctors who went way beyond medical school and taught themselves principles of nutrition often describe their own conventional medical school training as wildly inadequate. Dr Andrew Weil, for example, famously describes his conventional medicine colleagues as "nutritionally illiterate."

And he's right. Most conventional doctors are nutritionally illiterate. So are most parents. And if we wish to change the health future of America, this situation obviously needs to change. Nutrition should be the foundation of med school training, not an afterthought.

You can't create a healthy nation if the people practicing medicine don't know much about health and nutrition themselves.
At least 26% of patients who leave the hospital are more malnourished than when they went in!