Last Thursday night I attended an excellent talk on “Myths and Truths of American Health Care.”
The speaker, Dr. Arthur Garson, asked the question, “What percentage does medical care play in preventing premature death?”
As the audience was mainly health care providers the answers varied between about 50-80%.
The data he presented was humbling. The correct answer was approximately 10%.
Genetic predisposition is felt to be responsible for approximately 30% of premature deaths; behavioral patterns 40%, social circumstances 15% and environmental exposures 5%.
Currently, about 95% of the money spent on health in our nation goes to direct medical care.
Here’s the article in Health Affairs from which the statistics were quoted: