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Caregiving's Health Toll

Scott LaFee on

A new Blue Cross Blue Shield report on the state of caregiving in the United States paints an unsettling picture: Caregivers tend to have lower overall health scores than the general population, especially among some racial groups and those of younger age.

The company found that nearly three-quarters of the identified caregivers (almost 7 million people with Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage) were spouses. One in five cared for a child.

The largest age demographic were caregivers between 38 and 53 years of age (Gen Xers), followed by older baby boomers and younger millennials.

Black and Hispanic caregivers had lower health scores compared with non-caregivers in the same racial groups and compared with white caregivers.

Pandemic Pounds

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't helping the nation's obesity problem. Obesity rates in the U.S. continue to remain at record levels: In 2017-2018, 42% of people had obesity, a 26% jump from 10 years earlier. Last year, 12 states had obesity rates of 35% or higher, up three states from 2018.

 

Body of Knowledge

As we age, the muscles that control pupil size and reaction to light in our eyes weaken, causing the pupil to become smaller and less responsive. That's why older adults are likely to require more light to read comfortably than younger people.

Get Me That, Stat!

Only 3% of clinical trials are sponsored by the National Institutes of Health or other government entities, while 29% are industry-sponsored. The average sample size for trials is about 60 participants. Most trials have fewer than 100. And in 2019, the last year with available data, only 40% of trials were completed, according to ClinicalTrials.gov.

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Copyright 2020 Creators Syndicate Inc.
 

 

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