Time magazine's June 6, 1983 cover story called stress "The Epidemic of the Eighties" and referred to it as our leading health problem; there can be little doubt that the situation has progressively worsened since then. Numerous surveys confirm that adult Americans perceive they are under much more stress than a decade or two ago. A 1996 Prevention magazine survey found that almost 75% feel they have "great stress" one day a week with one out of three indicating they feel this way more than twice a week. In the same 1983 survey only 55% said they felt under great stress on a weekly basis. It has been estimated that 75 - 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. Job Stress is far and away the leading source of stress for adults but stress levels have also escalated in children, teenagers, college students and the elderly for other reasons, including: increased crime, violence and other threats to personal safety; pernicious peer pressures that lead to substance abuse and other unhealthy life style habits; social isolation and loneliness; the erosion of family and religious values and ties; the loss of other strong sources of social support that are powerful stress busters. http://www.stress.org/problem.htm
Israel's health problems are similar to those prevailing in the Western world. Since heart diseases and cancer account for about two thirds of deaths, the study of these illnesses has become a national priority. Also of great concern are medical care for the aging, problems arising from environmental changes and conditions emanating from current lifestyles, as well as traffic and occupational accidents. Health education programs are widely used to inform the public of the need to stop habits such as smoking and overeating, as well as lack of physical exercise, which have proved detrimental to health. Campaigns are also run frequently to increase workers' and drivers' awareness of potential dangers. Environmental...
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