Reduce your risk and increase the odds you will develop disease
REDUCING YOUR RISK OF DISEASE AND DISABILITY
Only death and taxes are certain! we all run the risk of developing diseases. The risk of disease increases with age, or to put it like the bookies the odds shorten. However this trend not because of ageing but because we have lived longer exposed to life style and environmental risks. However even in tour seventies many of these diseases can be prevented, postponed or made less severe. These include:
·heart disease – heart attacks and heart failure ·stroke ·the type of dementia called vascular dementia, due to diseases of the blood vessels, and atrial fibrillation, a disorder of the heart which means that the heart beats irregularly and this allows to little clots to form in the heart which can then break off and be carried in the bloodstream to the brain ·kidney failure and other complications of Type 2 Diabetes. ·severe joint disease necessitating joint replacement ·cancer ·depression. Some risk factors are common to more than one disease. The risks can be reduced by the following actions: ·stopping smoking ·improving what you eat ·losing weight ·becoming more active and fitter ·using your skills and resources to help others less fortunate than you are.
There is no need to spend money on privately advertised screening tests, or whole-body scans, as the NHS offers all the tests that have strong evidence that they do more good than harm. In addition, the NHS can provide preventive services for people aged seventy and over, in particular for the following:
·detection and treatment of high blood pressure ·detection and treatment of atrial fibrillation ·effective prevention and management of Type 2 diabetes ·prompt investigation of acute chest pain to treat heart attacks effectively ·screening tests for breast cancer for women, for abdominal aortic aneurysm for men and for bowel cancer for both sexes ·effective investigation, treatment and follow-up of women who have had one fracture, to prevent a second fragility fracture ·accurate identification of depression, and effective treatment and support to improve wellbeing and prevent suicide.
What is needed, then, is a balanced approach. We need to be offered high-value treatment, but it is essential also to avoid over-diagnosis, over-treatment and the medicalisation of life.