If You Cannot Predict, You Cannot Prevent Chronic Diseases

I lost my best friend Sauptik due to cardiovascular complications just after he celebrated his 32nd birthday. He was a strapping, vibrant guy, who cared for his health and received health check-ups on a regular basis. Although he did not show any symptoms, Sauptik had many of the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. If the doctors had a tool that could predict future health, indicate the severity of risks factors, and explain how those risks can be systematically reduced, perhaps Sauptik could have spent more time with his wife and son. There are many Sauptiks around us.

While many of us feel healthy and invincible, many underlying health risks can cause problems for us soon. One sobering fact is that approximately 1 out of 8 working Indians of ages 20-29 is either diabetic or pre-diabetic, and the numbers are even more staggering when we look at older age groups. There are about 15 other chronic diseases taking a toll on India’s young population.  But believe me this is not an Indian problem – it is a silent global epidemic that is killing 38 million people every year.  That translates to about 70 deaths per minute globally!

We all need to understand that prediction is key to preventing yourself from falling prey to chronic diseases

Predict to prevent

Most health screening companies attempt to identify the disease as soon as it presents itself. However, once many of these chronic diseases are contracted, they are difficult, if not impossible to reverse. Instead, knowing your combined risks for each disease state ahead of time is first step to preventing a disease from ever manifesting in an individual. Analyzing risk factors, predicting future health, and providing people with simple, individualized step-by-step plans to mitigate those risks are key to prevention. These days it would be even better if they have this information in the palm of their hands. The benefits of receiving evidence-based, individualized advice from doctors and nutritionists are immense.

In order to come up with individualized health, it is necessary to build awareness, acquire data, analyze the data and then act upon the findings. Sincere commitment to improving individual heath calls for creating awareness on various health risks and their impact. The next step is to acquire relevant health data including clinical data, personal health information, family medical history, known medical conditions, mental health, and stress factors. This data should then be analyzed to predict each individual’s various disease risk propensities. Having done that, the ground is set to create individualized health plans and priorities and act on those targets. The goal of this process is to predict future health outcomes and prevent diseases before they ever manifest themselves.

What is better – waiting for these irreversible chronic diseases to strike and then take medicines daily (and tolerate side effects) for the next twenty years or avoid these diseases in the first place?

To me the answer is a no brainer!

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Subhasish Sircar

Subhasish is Founder and CEO at Health Vectors.

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