Preventive Medicine 101

By Dr Yashica Khalawan

What is preventive medicine?

Preventive medicine takes a proactive approach to patient care by treating a condition at the stage before it becomes acute.  The goal of this type of healthcare is to help promote an individual’s health and wellbeing by preventing injury and illness. A good example of preventive medicine can be to screen for hypertension and to treat the symptoms before they lead to serious illness.

Why is preventive medicine important?

Preventive medicine helps to lower the burden of healthcare costs by preventing or treating disease before it requires high levels of hospital care. Several studies have demonstrated that chronic condition patients who have been managed and treated with preventive measures have significantly improved health outcomes.

What are some of the leading causes of preventable diseases?

  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Poor diet
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Alcohol

How can I implement preventive medicine?

  • Take your children for regular check-ups and immunisations.
  • Attend regular gynaecological appointments for pap smears, mammograms and preconceptual counselling.
  • Book annual dental and optometry appointments.
  • Consider regular screening tests for blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels.
  • Consider attending a genetic screening assessment to gain additional insight into your risks and susceptibility to certain diseases.

There are many associated risk factors when it comes to contracting an illness. However, by implementing healthy practices early on in life, you can continue on a steady trajectory of wellbeing well into the future.

About the Author

Dr Yashica Khalawan is a general practitioner with a special interest in preventive medicine.


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