These Southern Ohio Health Statistics Will Shock You

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It seems like every week there’s a new headline about what’s good and bad for us, along with advice about how to change our lifestyles to be healthier and happier. Often these are fairly obvious, from doing more exercise to eating more fruits and veggies, but occasionally shocking health facts a bit closer to home do come to light, like these Southern Ohio ones:

35% of Ohioans Have Pre-diabetes (& 27.5% Don’t Know It!)

Diabetes has been called an “epidemic of the 21st century,” and labeled one of the biggest challenges our health system faces today. Hyperbole? Unfortunately not when you consider that:

  • 11.3% of Ohioans have diabetes and Ohio ranks 14th out of 51 states

  • At the current pace, there is estimated to be almost 1.6 million cases of diabetes in Ohio by 2030.

  • Nine out of 10 people with pre-diabetes (a wake-up call that you're on the path to type 2 diabetes) don’t even know they have it.

What can you do?

It’s the age-old advice here of eating healthy food, losing weight, staying at a healthy weight, and being physically active. All of these things can help you bring your blood glucose level back into the normal range if you have pre-diabetes.

Fibromyalgia is 9x More Common in Women Than Men

Fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder that increases painful sensations in the inflammatory pathways of the brain. It’s one of the most common chronic pain conditions and affects approximately 10 million people in America but, shockingly, a large majority of sufferers are female.

What can you do?

Although there is no known cure for Fibromyalgia, aside from prescription medications (which can offer some relief), the best directive is  bringing life back to balance by reducing stress, resting more, improving what you eat, and sleeping better. Unfortunately there are  no shortcuts with this stuff.

Ohio is the 17th Most Stressed Out State in the U.S.

When it comes to having optimal health, there’s a bunch of things you could be doing.  I believe if you tackle stress alone, it has a ripple effect to every other area of life: physical health, mental health, your relationships, finances, and more. Statistics show that on a whole, 79% of Americans feel stress “sometimes” or “frequently” during the day—so this one is definitely worth bringing up the ladder of priority!

What can you do?

While it’s not always possible to get rid of all the stress in your life, my top two tips are to incorporate 20-30 minutes of physical activity each day and find yourself a hobby. Yes, it’s that simple, and yes it works. After all, sometimes the most effective things for tackling stress are also the simplest.

So while you might be shocked to read some of these Southern Ohio health statistics, the positive news is that you can be intentional with your lifestyle, and do your best to make sure these diseases and conditions don’t become your own. So think about which unhealthy habits you currently have relating to food, physical activity, and mental stress that you need to change.  Start small, chip away, form some positive new habits, and start to see how good you can feel this year.

So there ya’ go–that's your lesson for today!


Dr. Madsen


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Dan Madsen

Dr. Madsen is a family doctor in Chillicothe, Ohio.