Many people don’t know what preventative care is or how beneficial it can be. As defined, preventive care or preventative healthcare “consists of measures taken for disease prevention, as opposed to disease treatment”. Preventative healthcare is stopping diseases before they become a reality. Just as health encompasses a variety of physical and mental states, so do disease and disability, so does preventative healthcare. Disease prevention relies on “anticipatory actions” that can be categorized as “primal, primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention”.
Why should this matter to your life? You have health insurance, you have a doctor who you see when you’re sick, you know the number for 9-1-1; well this is something that the public needs to also know. Why? Simple, each year, millions of people die of preventable deaths. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “A 2004 study showed that about half of all deaths in the United States in 2000 were due to preventable behaviors and exposures” about HALF.Leading causes of death included cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, unintentional injuries, diabetes, and infection.This same study estimates, “that 400,000 people die each year in the United States due to poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
Back to facts, according to estimates made by the World Health Organization (WHO), “about 55 million people died worldwide in 2011”, an increase from the year 2000, “during which 60% of deaths were attributed to these [preventable] diseases”. Given the worldwide rise in prevalence of chronic diseases and deaths from preventable diseases preventative care is more important than ever.
Methods for Prevention of Disease
Everyone, adults, and children should see their doctor for regular check-ups. Despite how you feel disease screening can identify risk factors you are unaware of. If you need help tips on how to live a healthy life can be discussed. It is also important to stay up to date with immunizations and boosters; just because you got a shot in the first grade doesn’t mean “you’re good” at 25; you have to keep up with your shots. A disease screening could include checking for high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high blood cholesterol, colon cancer screens or STDs screening. Women who are over 50 DO NOT IGNORE YOUR gynecologist; a mammogram is super important to screen for breast cancer.
For some who know that a certain disease runs in their family like cancer, genetic testing can be a great preventative care method. Though it is still a topic of debate and not affordable to everyone, for those who have the means–do it.
Many are skeptical as to the effectiveness of preventative care, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion; however, if you knew you could better yourself with the help of doctors and nurses wouldn’t you?