Senior citizens who receive chiropractic care report better overall health, fewer symptomatic chronic conditions, less days in hospitals and nursing homes and more mobility than elderly non-chiropractic patients, according to a new study conducted by the prestigious Rand Corp.
The three-year randomized study of people 75 years old showed 87% of chiropractic patients described their health status as good to excellent, compared to 67% of non-chiropractic patients – a significant 19% difference. The chiropractic patients also were less likely to use prescription drugs and more likely to exercise regularly and participate in communities activities.
The landmark study was funded by the foundation for chiropractic education and research (FCFR), the W. Kellogg Foundation and the Peer Counseling Center in Santa Monica, CA.
The study revealed better overall health and higher quality of life among those who receive chiropractic health care. An estimated 15 to 17 % of chiropractor’s practice is compromised of patients over age 65.
“Chiropractic care clearly can help improve the overall wellness of America’s aging population,” said FCER Executive Director Stephen R. Seater. “Managed care executives and other bottom-line decision makers should take to heart the implications of this study and the cost-savings potential chiropractic care offers.”
In general, the chiropractic patients reported fewer health problems - 15% fewer reported two or more chronic conditions: 22% fewer suffered with symptoms of arthritis, 15% less time in nursing homes and 21% less time in hospitals over the previous three years.
While people over 65 account for 12.6% of the population, they purchase 31% of all prescription medications, account for 31% of all hospital discharges and are responsible for 42% of days of care nonfederal hospitals.
Dr. Kurt Hegetschweiler, President of the American chiropractic Association (ACA), said, “the importance of these findings for the future of health care could be profound. By the end of the century, the number of people over the age 85 will double, creating a potentially devastating effect on out health care system. A healthier older population could translate into savings billions health care dollars annually.”