Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Maybe we'd be "healthier" if everything weren't a disease

…Restless legs, diabesity, syndromes galore…have you been “medicalized” lately?

…HA has a friend who avoids doctors because “they always find something wrong.”

…In this month’s edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the docs analyzed people’s assessments of their own well-being as well as some tests like diabetes, and blood tests associated with heart disease, and concluded that the English are healthier than Americans.

…Or: Americans are much sicker than the English.

…They tried to decide how fat the English were, though, and found out that no one is keeping score on that the way we do.

...The English also do not do skin inspections or routine PSA tests.

…The English do calculate life expectancy, though, and theirs is almost identical to ours.

…One American doctor said, the more problems you look for, the more you find.

…Another called it disease-mongering. A doctor at Dartmouth was quoted as saying that if every American had the tests for cholesterol, blood sugar, body mass index, and diabetes, 75% of adults would be labeled diseased.

…Some screening here picks up cancers to little they might have never caused a problem.

…Thyroid cancer may be overdiagnosed. Incidence is up two and a half times over the last 20 years, yet the death rate is the same as then.

…Americans have lower cholesterol than the English, on average.

…With all this screening people are being labeled—and not in a way that benefits them.

…One doctor was asked to define a well person. He thought a minute. “Someone who has not been worked up yet,” he replied.


Bill Thomasson said...

"…With all this screening people are being labeled—and not in a way that benefits them."

Well, let's look at this from a personal perspective. If I'd never had my blood pressure measured, I'd probably be considered entirely healthy today. But do I benefit from being labeled "hypertensive" and having my hypertension treated? Statistics say I do, and I believe them.

Star said...

Yeah, they have everyone on BP meds, statins, I know. Did people all drop dead of heart attacks before...?

I sometimes wonder.

I am not saying don't test. I take my BP meds...but sometimes a niggling doubt comes in.

Don't get mad--I am taking it!

It seems like they label ya immediately--fat, you're dead. BP, dead. Diabetes, omigod, you are so dead.

Or on the flip side, you go from doc to doc for years and no one finds out what's wrong...

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