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Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Preventive Medicine 

This piece is interesting. It talks bout how more and more people in the US are being diagnosed and treated as having "pre-disease" conditions. And by "treated" they mean mostly pharmacologically. The author points out that much of this drive has come from drug companies, but doesn't really talk about the reasons not to prescribe.

Take hyperlipidema, aka high cholesterol, for example: the drugs used to treat this are "statins." Statins have a pretty good track record, but are associated with liver failure, require biannual blood tests (in excess of those otherwise recommended), and may or may not have been tested thoroughly in younger (under 40 years) patients. They are costly. And it's debatable how well they really prevent heart attacks.

Then there's treating pre-diabetes. I don't know, but it seems that pharmacological treatments there would potentiate the disease.

Anyone know anything?

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