Preventive medicine is a critical field within general medicine today. The prevention of COVID-19, with masks, vaccines, and other measures, comes to mind first and foremost. But the efforts of this subset of medical practice are far more wide-reaching, ranging from migraine prevention to preventive therapies and medications aimed at warding off diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. However, many people—both patients and physicians—aren’t aware of the progress that’s being made in the realm of preventive treatment with each day and every clinical trial or research paper prepared.
In the United States and beyond, patients are all too aware of the costs that come with medical care. Naturally, this leads many to wonder how they can save money on their health care needs. If they aren’t turning to preventive treatment options, they’re inevitably missing out on remarkable savings that come along with such care.
Research shows that preventive measures offer the opportunity to save on health care costs while preventing illness and improving health. For instance, the New England Journal of Medicine references preventable causes of death including tobacco smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, and the misuse of alcohol. Obviously, preventive measures that prevent death are key to proper health. However, any costs associated with preventive treatment at the moment will certainly pale in comparison to the costs of treating a more serious crisis when those measures are overlooked—possibly even the ultimate cost.
When you think of preventive services, a few particular instances may come to mind. Chances are, though, that you won’t imagine every possible preventive option available to you, warding off infectious diseases and adverse events one medical condition at a time.
For example, the preventive treatment of migraine is especially wide-reaching. Lifestyle changes join medications like topiramate, metoprolol, propranolol, amitriptyline, and timolol in preventing chronic migraine or other headaches in adolescents and adults across the globe. And migraines, too, aren’t alone in prompting preventive care; other ailments include STIs, cancer, cardiovascular conditions, and more.
Just like the efficacy of preventive services across countless medical conditions, these services are made up of many different types of preventive treatment. Vaccines are, by far, the most easily recognized, preventing medical conditions like polio, tetanus, tuberculosis (TB), and more. However, they’re far from the only preventive care option available.
Testing and screenings are two other primary examples of preventive measures, targeting conditions like diabetes, imbalanced cholesterol or blood pressure, counseling, and wellness visits or checkups. In many instances, these preventive services are covered by your health insurance plan, too, making them (and their benefits) accessible to more patients.
No matter what sort of preventive therapy you turn to, you’ll find that your quality of life is sure to improve as compared to a preventive-free baseline. Even intermittent preventive treatment can show improvements over a placebo! From screening for obesity to migraine prevention, there are countless ways you can implement preventive treatment in your or your patients’ care.