The past year was filled with a wide variety of advances and news in the health industry. These instances over the course of the past twelve months will help shape the future of the year to come. In preparation for 2019, learn more about these major health developments from the previous year.
Climate Change Impacting Health
As climate change continues to worsen year after year, 2018 showed that not only will a changing environment impact the ecosystem, it will also impact the health of individuals everywhere. More health problems began to arise throughout various populations around the world as temperatures and weather patterns changed. Diseases were able to spread in new territories due to warmer weather and more humid conditions. Additionally, a host of natural disasters left many homes at risk for causing health problems due to mold. It only takes 48 hours for mold to set in and the longer things remain wet the more likely they are to be destroyed or cause permanent damage.
Not only did climate change and environmental concerns cause larger shifts in global health; day-to-day pollution resulted in health complications for the population in general. Air pollution is known to be one of the top causes for lung cancer, yet air quality continued to be a problem throughout 2018. This trend is likely to continue this year; unless pollution, in general, is reduced, it’s likely health problems will continue to grow.
Health Care Costs And Coverage
As health care costs continue to climb in the United States, coverage becomes more of a struggle for people everywhere, especially young families. Because of what seems like ever-increasing costs of care, many younger generations are often skipping important health care procedures. The AAPD recommends that kids and teens see a pediatric dentist every six months to for regular checkups including an exam, cleaning, fluoride treatment, and occasional x-rays to prevent cavities and other problems. However, with these routine procedures often being too expensive, many families skipped over them in 2018.
The current administration has also caused a certain degree of long-term uncertainty that will set the tone for 2019 as well. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor reignited health insurance concerns for many when he ruled in mid-December to invalidate the Affordable Care Act. While the long-term consequences of this and actual results remain to be seen, it certainly gives cause for concern as the new year begins.
Conquering Diseases And Epidemics
Despite the challenges 2018 posed, there were many successes fighting diseases over the course of the year. While the opioid epidemic rages on, certain areas of the country that were once struggling are now at the forefront of rehabilitation and preventing overdose. Similarly, doctors everywhere had significant breakthroughs on diseases ranging from hemophilia to heart disease. With the human body having over 650 muscles and a wide variety of conditions that can impact them, advancements on certain conditions like heart disease will be incredibly profound for many people throughout the world.
The previous year was filled with a combination of advancements and setbacks, both of which will be crucial for the advances of medicine in the coming year. While it’s uncertain what 2019 will hold with regards to medical care and health advancements, the events of 2018 are sure to set the stage for the health of the global population.