"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan

Invisible Illness Facts and Figures

by - Monday, September 13, 2010

Kicking off invisible illness awareness week with some surprising statistics and facts! These are the ones that stood out most to me:

General statistics
  • People with illness are young! 60% are between the ages of 18 and 64 (a)
  • The divorce rate among the chronically ill is over 75% (a)
  • Depression is 15-20% higher for the chronically ill than for the average person (a)
  • Sadly, 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 (a)

American statistics

  • Nearly 1 in 2 people have a chronic condition (a)
  • Approximately 96% of people who live with an illness have an illness that is invisible. These people do not use a cane or any assistive device and may look perfectly healthy (a)

Australian statistics

  • In 2006-2007, arthritis, diabetes and depression were chronic conditions commonly managed at GP consultations (b)
  • In 2004-2005 people with chronic disease were less likely to be employed full time, and more likely to be unemployed, than those without chronic disease (Australia and New Zealand Health Policy)
  • About 1 in 5 Australians suffer from chronic pain (Australian Institute of Health and Wellfare Australian General Practice Statistics and Classification Centre. 2005-2006)

The facts
  • Invisible illness includes autism, bulimia, migraine pain, arthritis, bi-polar disorder and depression (a)
  • The significance of ones faith has shown to help one handle a stressful medical event better (a)
  • Over half of the chronically ill say the worst thing someone can say is "you look great" (a)

  • "Chronic pain can't simply be fixed by taking a pill"- Professor Stephen Gibson, President of the Australian pain society (c)
  • "Because pain often shows no physical signs, people including health professionals will often not believe sufferers are in pain which is one of the reasons they are at such high risk of depression, anxiety, social isolation and relationship breakdown"- Coralie Wales, President of Chronic Pain Australia (c)


(a) http://www.invisibleillnessweek.com/2009/05/06/statistics-chronic-illness/
(b) http://www.aihw.gov.au


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