PRIMARY PREVENTION STRATEGIES IN HEALTHY ADULTS – AN EVIDENCE-BASED RECIPE FOR LONGEVITY
In controlled trials, primary prevention strategies that are often simple and inexpensive have a remarkable power to prevent or delay a large array of diseases. However, a striking discrepancy can be found everywhere between these compelling capacities and the actual performance of physicians in primary care as well as hospital settings. Patient's health behavior is frequently severely flawed and their failure to take advantage of the proven benefits of healthy lifestyles, early diagnosis of risk factors and subclinical disease and preventive interventions, results in premature morbidity and mortality. Changing behavior is notoriously hard, but patient and provider barriers to prevention have been identified, and initial studies indicate potentially effective methods to improve compliance. Starting early is optimal, but a change and adherence at any age significantly improve health outcomes and survival. Evidence-based recommendations regarding healthy lifestyle, lipid-lowering drugs, anti- platelet agents in selected patients, cancer screening, and the problems of screening of other conditions are reviwed, as well as the importance of the provider-patient interface. A much better implementation of existing recommendations is essential and feasible and should be recognized as a major goal by health-policy makers, physicians and patients acting in tandem. This may ensure that many prevalent illnesses are prevented or delayed and that patients may already enjoy improved quality of life and longer and healthier life spans.
Keywords: Primary prevention; Longevity; Quality of care; Systematic review and meta-analysis.
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