A few interesting health-related statistics out this week:
From the American Society of Plastic Surgeons comes a prediction that more than 55 million cosmetic surgery procedures will be performed in 2015. According to a press release, this is more than quadruples the number of procedures performed in 2005. The study also predicted that most of the growth will be in non-surgical procedures, such as fillers, Botox injections, laser hair removal and chemical skin peels.
The pharmaceutical industry spent $168 million lobbying on Capitol Hill in the U.S. in 2007, according to a new report released by The Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit organization that investigates public policy issues. This is a 32 percent increase over 2006. For a list of the top spending pharma companies, visit the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog. The Center for Public Integrity suggests the rise may partly be due to the fact that the U.S. Congress has been particularly active around pharma issues in the past year, holding hearings on issues such as drug safety, pharmaceutical pricing, and availability of generic medicines.
The Canadian Press (CP) reported today that 26.3 percent of Canadian women give birth by caesarean section (C-section)—an all-time high. The number was presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, which says the rise in C-sections is "exposing mothers to increased risks during childbirth and for subsequent pregnancies, and is placing excess strain on the healthcare system." The CP article suggests numerous factors are contributing to this increase: the rise in obesity among females of child-bearing age, the rise in IVF treatment (which increases the odds of multiple births), a shortage of obstetricians and changing preferences among women.