[Skip to Navigation]
Viewpoint
June 24, 2020

Surgery and Population Health—Redesigning Surgical Quality for Greater Impact

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA Surg. 2020;155(9):799-800. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.0808

The US has a population health crisis. Most measures of overall health are worse in the US compared with any other high-income country. The US ranks lowest for 9 of the top 10 causes of premature mortality, including ischemic heart disease, drug use disorders, lung cancer, road injuries, self-harm, neonatal disorders, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interpersonal violence, and cirrhosis.1 Except for road injuries, these are all traditionally considered medical problems for which the cornerstone of management is prevention; therefore, surgeons are left out of the conversation about solutions. When considering the top risk factors driving death and disability (in order, high body mass index [calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared], smoking, dietary risks, high fasting plasma glucose level, high blood pressure, drug use, and alcohol use), we are again faced with a list that falls heavy on primary care physicians and medical subspecialists.1

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words
    ×