8 Emerging Public Health Issues of 2023

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Experts have observed a sharp decline in the well-being of Americans even before COVID-19. Studies show that an average American’s life expectancy has reduced to 76.4 years, the shortest in the past twenty years. That’s because many new public health challenges keep emerging in the healthcare landscape.

Healthcare professionals should understand these public health issues to improve the collective well-being of our society. This blog offers relevant insights into the emerging public health issues of 2023. Let’s get into it.

1 – Health inequities

Inaccessibility to quality health services affects minorities disproportionately in America. Disparities in healthcare exist because of racial, gender-based, and socioeconomic factors. And these inequities lead to underprivileged individuals suffering from higher rates of illness and disability. Public health workers can address these inequities by:

  • Giving healthcare information in different languages
  • Offering telehealth and mobile health screening services
  • Focuses on disease prevention to lower the cost of treatment
  • Being mindful of cultural differences and religious sensitivities

2 – Lack of health workers

Public health requires qualified professionals to serve the community; however, the U.S. health sector faces an increasing shortage of healthcare practitioners. Data shows that 44% of public health workers will retire by 2026. Similarly, many health workers have left the profession due to burnout and stress. A solution to this problem may be found in distance learning programs and training courses.

Healthcare students can pursue online MPH programs to address the public health issues facing a community and implement culturally-appropriate interventions. Trained in biostatistics and epidemiology, these students become the nation’s first responders against widespread pandemics and fill the gaps left by retiring workers.

3 – Heart diseases

After the emergence of the pandemic, hospitals saw a sharp uptake in heart attacks among youngsters. While adults aged 45 to 64 saw an almost 20% increase in cardiovascular challenges, young people aged 25 to 44 saw a 30% surge in heart failure without an apparent cause. Heart diseases are linked to different health factors, such as smoking, poor diet, air pollution, high cholesterol, and HBP.

Public health workers can mitigate cardiovascular issues by addressing the factors mentioned above. Educate people about the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise. Tell them why they should avoid alcohol, nicotine, and a sedentary lifestyle to keep their hearts healthy.

4 – Childhood obesity

Data shows that one-fifth of kids are obese because they engage in minimal physical activities while consuming a lot of high-calorie foods/drinks. The trend of eating fast food once/twice a week also contributes to it. Obesity may also lead to diabetes and even infertility if left untreated for a long time.

A solution to this issue lies in promoting healthy pastimes among children and fostering healthy eating behaviors. Moreover, children must be given healthy food options in school cafeterias.

5 – E-cigarettes

E-cigarettes were once popularized as a coping mechanism for those addicted to smoking. But now, e-cigarettes have become an addiction itself, particularly among teenagers. Kids aged 15 to 17 are 1600% more likely to smoke electronic cigarettes than adults, and in 2022, over 2.5 million youngsters smoked e-cigarettes. These devices contain nicotine that can harm a youngster’s brain development. Also, they contain aerosol, which is bad for their health. So, what can public health workers do about it?

They can lobby nationwide campaigns to raise awareness about the harm caused by vaping. It’s time we take a strong stance against e-cigarettes and lobby for higher taxes on these products. 

6 – Road injuries

It’s a sad truth about modern society that car accidents remain the dominant cause of teen deaths in the United States. Teenagers are more likely than older adults to underestimate dangerous situations. They’re more prone to errors while driving, thereby crashing into objects or other vehicles.

But interventions, such as helmets, seatbelts, and speed limits, can limit vehicular accidents. Airbags make sure vehicular injuries are less deadly. Stricter laws against drunk driving prevent more teenagers from disregarding caution. 

7 – An ageing population

Americans are getting older with time, as 1 in 6 U.S. adults will be aged 65 or more in 2023. As the graying of America continues, the health sector needs to adapt to the needs of an older population. It needs to accommodate the healthcare requirements of older adults to improve the well-being of society.

When health systems adapt to the needs of sexagenarians, public health prospers. For instance, many health experts focus more on the diseases affecting kids but don’t pay equal attention to the diseases exclusive to or dominant in an older population (e.g., dementia). 

8 – Mental health

If one-fifth of Americans living with mental health issues weren’t worse, COVID-19 caused anxiety and depression to rise by 25% worldwide. The uncertainty created because of the prevalence of fake news on social media also contributed heavily to the declining mental health of Americans.

Public health experts can address these challenges by raising awareness of mental health challenges. They can lobby to make mental health facilities accessible to everyone while reducing common taboos associated with depression. 


This blog sheds light on the major public health issues facing the American health sector. From health worker scarcity to mental health concerns – these public health problems have far-reaching implications in modern society. The health sector needs well-educated, experienced public health workers to address these challenges and overcome the evils threatening the longevity of public lifespans.

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