The decline in numerous diseases is not solely due to medical progress. At the same time, in recent years, the Prevention invested. This takes place on different levels and aims to avoid complaints.
The general goal of prevention is to improve and maintain individual health.
Prevention and early detection are closely linked. Early detection can be classified as part of prevention. Both approaches have similar goals. Prevention is largely promoted by the state in order to be able to save costs in this way as well. For example, prevention takes place within the framework of the various statutory insurances. These offer health-promoting services, which are anchored in guidelines.
In 2012, a total of 10.9 billion euros was invested in disease prevention. The measures cannot be generalized. They are differentiated into primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary prevention and applied in different ways. The patient's health should be maintained or improved. The foundation is on the one hand financial reasons and on the other hand ethical, which aim to avoid suffering as much as possible. An important part of prevention is also health promotion. While prevention looks for disease-causing factors, health promotion seeks those that lead to health. Both approaches are entangled within their same goal.
When it comes to prevention measures, it is necessary to differentiate between different points in time. These in turn can be assigned to primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary prevention. Primary prevention aims to prevent the development of diseases. Measures at the individual level are used here, such as the recommendation and the subsidized offer for more exercise, programs of the health insurance companies for education about healthy nutrition or accompanying assistance in achieving normal weight. Numerous diseases are more likely to arise from obesity, stress or an unhealthy diet.
For example, the regular intake of high amounts of sugar can result in diabetes, while animal products can lead to heart attacks and strokes due to the cholesterol they contain. The change in diet to a large proportion of fresh foods such as fruit and vegetables as well as the reduction of finished products with trans fatty acids counteracts symptoms. Primary prevention also includes addiction prevention and vaccinations. In some models, primary prevention is followed by primordial prevention to avoid risk factors.
Secondary prevention is closely linked to early detection. It includes all measures to diagnose illnesses before they become noticeable through symptoms and complaints. Patients who become ill as a result of early detection measures, such as radiation exposure during mammography screening, are included. In general, secondary prevention manifests itself in a variety of ways. This includes blood counts, colonoscopies, occult blood tests of the stool, ultrasound images during pregnancy or the check-ups for children and adolescents. Teritarian prevention, on the other hand, only comes into play when an acute episode of an illness has occurred. It should prevent relapses and permanent damage.
The terms terrorist prevention and rehabilitation are similar. They include preventing kidney failure in people who are dependent on external insulin because of diabetes. Follow-up examinations after successful cancer treatment can also be assigned to the category. Quaternary prevention is aimed primarily at older patients and the chronically ill. She tries to avoid the administration of unnecessary medication. Multimedia can do more harm than good. Measures are applied at various levels to achieve the objectives of prevention.
Behavioral prevention aims to influence individual health behavior. This is where, for example, awareness of diseases and prevention are strengthened, education and sanctions are used. The reference to health disadvantages that can be found on cigarette packets belong to behavioral prevention. Relational prevention aims to shape living conditions in such a way that they do not pose a health risk. It is anchored in various areas such as family, work or leisure. An example would be a strict non-smoking law, which is reflected in the ban on tobacco consumption in restaurants.
Prevention is aimed at the individual. They are partly enforced through laws or through incentives and sanctions. Not all measures affect the entire population, so that a further differentiation can be made here. The universal prevention is aimed at the general population and parts such as pregnant women, the selective at people with a high risk of disease and the indicated at patients who exhibit behavior that can result in illness. These include, for example, drug addicts.
Prevention thus takes place on numerous levels and has different addressees. Their general goal is to improve and maintain individual health. However, disadvantages can also arise, particularly in the context of secondary prevention. This area is dedicated to early detection. Various measures are used here, which under certain circumstances can worsen health.For example, the material used in a colonoscopy can injure the intestinal wall. Bleeding or scarring occurs.
In addition, mammography screening has come under fire from experts. It can contribute to the early diagnosis of breast cancer. However, radiation is also responsible for the development of tissue changes in previously healthy women. Similar circumstances can be found in all preventive examinations that require the use of ultrasound and X-rays. Otherwise, symptoms and side effects are usually not to be expected in the context of prevention. Instead, there are health benefits due to prevention that become visible in the decline of numerous diseases. If in doubt, the attending physician should be consulted in order to weigh the costs and benefits.