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We routinely screen people to provide early diagnosis of diseases, but often these tests are flawed and can lead to the treatment of healthy individuals — a lot of money can be made from labelling healthy people as sick. It is, after all, in the commercial interest of pharmaceutical companies to increase their end users, and some are known to sponsor studies that define disease and promote their treatments.

What better way to sell more drugs than to widen the boundaries of illness to include pre-conditions? Continued controversy of this kind surrounds the use of statins.

Despite numerous clinical trials, and decades of use, scientists and clinicians still cannot agree on whether the benefits outweigh the risks in statin users who have not yet had a heart attack. Inappropriate medicalisation can also carry a number of dangers including unpleasant or dangerous side effects of medication, poor treatment decisions, and economic waste. We lose a battle when healthy people are labelled in this way and we lose focus on what the real problems are — the vast majority of cardiovascular disease worldwide is caused by smoking, physical inactivity and poor diet.

But rather than focusing on these problems, we prescribe statins and other drugs, and opportunities to improve the overall health of these people are missed. Type 2 diabetes also has well known risk factors, such as obesity, and the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet can often go beyond treating just one condition.

Here’s how to win the battle—and the war.

We also could lower the risk of developing other diseases, such cancer or dementia , but when healthy people with unhealthy lifestyles are medically treated, the incentive to exercise and eat well is reduced. After all, they are already being treated.

The structure of argumentation in health product messages

Treating these conditions ultimately diverts money away from the treatment or prevention of diseases that simply cannot be prevented by lifestyle changes. And since the NHS is already at breaking point , the capacity needed for managing and tracking those with pre-conditions will add extra pressure. It may seem logical to turn to our arsenal of medicines to prevent sickness, but the costs in the end are just too high.

Screen music and the question of originality - Miguel Mera — London, Islington. UEA Inaugural lecture: Alternative performance measures: do managers disclose them to inform us, or to mislead us? Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Preventative medicine could help to delay disease.

Hans Hoeken

We asked two experts to explain. Prescription of medicines is an easy method of disease prevention.


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Exercise and a healthy diet could be more beneficial. Shutterstock We lose a battle when healthy people are labelled in this way and we lose focus on what the real problems are — the vast majority of cardiovascular disease worldwide is caused by smoking, physical inactivity and poor diet.

In This Article

Medicine Intelligence Prediabetes. You might also like Statins have improved the quality of life for many people who would have otherwise suffered debilitating cardiovascular disease. Mykl Roventine. Share This Paper.

Multi-Party Argumentation for Health & Wellbeing – Council of Coaches

Figures and Topics from this paper. References Publications referenced by this paper. Use of research results in policy decision-making, formulation, and implementation: a review of the literature. Examining the role of health services research in public policymaking. Information overload in healthcare: too much of a good thing?


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