Magazine article New Zealand Management

EXEC HEALTH : A Look under the Hood; 'Prevention Is Better Than Cure' Is One of the Oldest, Yet Most Important, Sayings in the Health Book

Magazine article New Zealand Management

EXEC HEALTH : A Look under the Hood; 'Prevention Is Better Than Cure' Is One of the Oldest, Yet Most Important, Sayings in the Health Book

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Tynan

There's no doubt that putting our health under the microscope can be uncomfortable.

However, there's plenty of evidence that momentary discomfort can prevent ongoing health problems, hospitalisation or even save your life.

Many of us associate going for a medical check up with being ill. But for some life-threatening illnesses, physical symptoms may only appear at a very advanced stage. In fact, what many people don't realise is that in a third of cardiovascular disease cases, the first symptom is death.

That's why taking time out for a thorough heath check, assessment or 'warrant of fitness' might be the best decision you ever made. A comprehensive health assessment will not only check for lumps, bumps and anything 'out of the ordinary', but will also include a discussion of the lifestyle factors that may pose a risk to your future good health.

There are enormous benefits from switching our focus from treatment to early intervention and preventative measures.

A 2006 study found that 31 percent of admissions to Christchurch Hospital in 2003 were potentially avoidable. Examples included lung disease, cervical and breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases, early detection and excision of melanomas, and effective glycaemic control in people with diabetes.

However, there are instances when serious illness, such as cancer, can strike even those with the healthiest of lifestyles. For many cancers, early detection dramatically improves survival rates. For women under 50, regular screening reduces the chance of developing breast cancer by around 20 percent. …

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