Monday, October 8, 2007

Chronic Illness Statistics: We Are Not Alone

Here are some surprising stats about chronic illness I recently found on a very interesting website, The Daily Headache, about living with and managing migraines and chronic headaches (written by Kerrie Smyres):

  • Nearly 1 in 2 Americans (133 million) has a chronic condition
  • 96% of them live with an illness that is invisible. These people do not use a cane or any device and may look perfectly healthy.
  • Sixty percent are between the ages of 18 and 64
  • The divorce rate among the chronically ill is over 75%
  • Depression is 15-20% higher for the chronically ill than for the average person
  • Various studies have reported that physical illness or uncontrollable physical pain are major factors in up to 70% of suicides and more than 50% of these suicidal patients were under 35 years of age
We are not alone. And we have a lot to learn from each other about living with illness. In fact, there is a National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness week annually in September to bring together and educate people with chronic illness and the people who care about them.

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