US Insights

Cancer, heart disease top list of health challenges facing Americans

Ross Tucker

Executive Editor Kantar US Insights

Health 10.08.2019 / 09:00


The US leads the world in diagnosed cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic conditions.

America leads the world in diagnosed cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic conditions according to the latest research from Kantar.

Kantar’s Global Health and Wellness Report represents the voice of 2.4 million patients speaking to the true impact of 200 health conditions globally. It serves as the barometer for patient sentiment across the global healthcare community. This year’s report also covered three new areas – non-infectious liver/kidney conditions, skin conditions and women’s health conditions.

Kantar also identified ten key areas that are expected to impact the global healthcare sector as we head into the beginning of a new decade. The rise of technology and digital health is giving consumers the confidence to take aspects of care into their own hands. Artificial intelligence is being used to discover new medicines, design clinical trials, and deliver new patient-centered technologies. Affordability and pricing of medicines has come into sharp focus around the world and will be a political issue going forward. Disease prevention through the use of vaccines has also emerged as a global issue that the industry will need to face.

Matters of the Heart

Diagnosed cardiovascular disease remains high in the US, at roughly 39 percent of the population. That number jumps to 44 percent when looking at “self-reported” cases of cardiovascular disease. The conditions result in a work productivity loss of almost 25 percent according to our research. Rates of cardiovascular disease are similarly high in Europe’s five largest economies, or EU5, consisting of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. In both US and the EU5, heart conditions appear to impact men and women equally.

Heart Disease

“While we don’t know the exact cause of CV disease from NHWS data, common comorbid conditions/behavior among those with CV conditions are hypertension, obesity, smoking and the lack of exercise,” reads the report.

Cancer Concerns

The US is also a leader in diagnosed cases of cancer, at nine percent of the population. According to our research, those dealing with cancer in the US are also facing a nearly 40 percent loss in work productivity. While cancer rates remain high, the report delves into a range of new therapies that are emerging to treat the condition.


Pain Points

Prevalence of pain conditions have remained steady globally. About 53 percent of US adults and 41 percent of adults in Europe’s leading economies experience pain. While the prevalence of pain is high, most patients are able to find pain relief through the use of over the counter medicines.

Pain Conditions 2019


A decade ago the focus was on increasing vaccination rates in emerging countries. However, today the health and wellness industry has shifted to maintaining vaccination rates in Western countries, where rates have fallen and given rise to epidemics for diseases once deemed in check. “These diseases – including measles, mumps, whopping cough and others – are giving rise to unnecessary healthcare costs and posing significant risks to the health of the general population,” reads the report.

“Both California and New York had the highest rates of adults who reported that they had never received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine; and there was also a decline in the number of 18 to 34-year-old individuals who received the MMR vaccine.”

The trend is heading in the wrong direction, with serious consequence to be faced.

“Today, we’re seeing lower than required vaccination rates for kindergarten-aged children, and an overall decline in vaccination rates for young adults and believe that herd immunity is in jeopardy and outbreaks may continue to increase.”

Source: Kantar

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