In 2017 Prevention should be woven into all aspects of our lives, including where and how we live, learn, work and play. Everyone—government, businesses, educators, health care institutions, communities and every single American—has a role in creating a healthier nation.
The overarching goal of good health is prevention and to be healthy at every stage of life. Everyone needs an ounce of prevention. Preventive care can help you stay healthier throughout your life. For many people, certain preventive health care is now free, with no copays or deductibles. Talk to your healthcare provider and learn about the preventive care that you and your loved one’s need to stay healthy.
Put your health first. Staying healthy is important for you and your family. Maintain a healthy lifestyle at home, at work, and in the community. This should include walking instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of elevator, and choosing healthy food options. In addition, it is important to get recommended health screenings and vaccines and manage your chronic conditions.
What is preventive health care?
Preventive care includes health services like screenings, check-ups, and patient counseling. It is used to prevent illnesses, disease, and other health problems. It can also help to detect illness at an early stage when treatment is likely to work best. Getting recommended preventive services and making healthy lifestyle choices are key steps to good health and well-being. The following are 6-steps you should take:
Get the following tests:
o Blood Pressure
Ask about the vaccines you may need. Vaccines and Immunizations (vaccines depend on your age, health conditions, lifestyle, or job and your travel outside the U.S.):
o Influenza (flu) every year
o Td vaccine (to protect against tetanus and diphtheria-every 10 years)
o Tdap vaccine (to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis – one time) then Td every 10 years after.
o Pneumococcal vaccines (to protect against pneumonia and meningitis – Adults 65 or older) – there are two
vaccines – Pneumovax® and Prevnar®
o MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella) – Adults who did not get these in childhood
o Zostavax (Shingles vaccine) – Adults 60 or older
See if you should have any of these cancer screenings:
o Colonoscopy (generally every 10 years) or a stool test (annually) to screen for cancer of the colon or rectum
o Prostate cancer
o Sexually Transmitted Infections
o Some jobs require TB (tuberculosis) screening, with a skin test or a blood test
o Hepatitis C
Regular Office Visits:
o Care for Healthy Pregnancies
o Tobacco free living
o Healthy eating
o Active Living
o Reproductive and sexual health
o Mental and emotional wellbeing
o Injury and violence-free living
o Preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use
Increasing the focus on prevention in our communities will help improve our health, quality of life and prosperity.
Seven out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases (such as cancer and heart disease). One out of every two adults has at least one chronic illness, many of which are preventable. Racial and ethnic minority communities experience higher rates of obesity, cancer, diabetes and AIDS. Children are also becoming increasingly vulnerable. Today, almost one in every three children in our nation is overweight or obese. This puts them at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Focusing on preventing disease and illness before they occur will create healthier homes, workplaces, schools and communities so that people can live long and productive lives and reduce their healthcare costs. Better health positively impacts our communities and our economy:
• With better health, children are in school more days and are better able to learn. Numerous studies have found that regular physical activity supports better learning. Student fitness levels have been correlated with academic achievement, including improved math, reading and writing scores.
• With better health, adults are more productive and at work more days. Preventing disease increases productivity—asthma, high blood pressure, smoking and obesity each reduce annual productivity by between $200 and $440 per person.
• With better health, seniors keep their independence. Support for older adults who choose to remain in their homes and communities and retain their independence (“aging in place”) helps promote and maintain positive mental and emotional health
Health is a team game. Together we can create healthier communities.
For More Information and Recommendations: Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov/DieasesConditions)