Saturday, December 24, 2011

Disease Creep: How we're fooled into using more medicine than we need. |

Disease creep, or our drive to catch disease early, and the counterintuitive nature of waiting for symptoms, are pushing more and more of us onto medicines we may not need. In addition to “pre-heart disease,” which is in effect what having elevated cholesterol amounts to, we now have pre-hypertension and pre-diabetes. We catch cancers too early to know if they are ever going to cause a problem. And we put a million stents a year in people’s hearts – yet elective stent placement offers no benefit at all in terms of reduced heart attacks or deaths. Nearly half the population in the U.S. is taking at least one prescribed drug, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than one in ten is taking five or more medicines. Yet we are sicker and don’t live as long as people in Canada or England – or 35 other nations where they generally take fewer medicines and undergo fewer tests.

Posted via email from Jack's posterous

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