Most Nashville residents think they’re in good overall health, yet at the same time, most admit they are living with a chronic health condition.
That’s according to a city-wide survey created by the American Heart Association where 403 people were questioned from a variety of different Nashville neighborhoods and income levels.
Half of those surveyed say they or someone in their household has high blood pressure. 67 percent admitted to dealing with one or more of the following chronic ailments: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, heart disease and stroke.
Many of those symptoms come from being overweight. Those surveyed said the biggest problems were unhealthy eating and lack of exercise, followed by not being able to follow their doctor’s recommendations.
According to Dr. Walter Clair, the executive medical director for the Vanderbilt Cardiovascular Institute, the problem is more likely with our society.
"We’re concerned about individual patients, but we also care about the population. Also, we care particularly about the most vulnerable in our population," Clair said. "The story that keeps coming back to us repeatedly when we do these surveys is that the wonderful healthcare that’s available in Nashville is not perceived to be equally available to all."
He seems to have a point. The results of the survey vary dramatically based on income and race.
66 percent of those surveyed with an annual household income over $75,000 reported feeling "satisfied" with the quality and affordability of their healthcare, while only 33 percent of those making less than $40,000 are satisfied.
We should also note the racial divide. The survey found 57 percent of white residents were satisfied, compared to 41 percent for black residents.