Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

High Blood Pressure

The table below shows ranges for total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels after 9 to 12 hours of fasting. High blood cholesterol is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

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Among the 177 women with breast cancer, 132 had a positive screening test , but 45 had negative tests . Among the 64,633 women without breast cancer, 63,650 appropriately had negative screening tests , but 983 incorrectly had positive screening tests . The prevalence of the detectable preclinical phase of disease has to be high among the population screened.

This relates to the relative costs of the screening program in relation to the number of cases detected and to positive predictive value. The expenditure of resources on screening must be justifiable in terms of eliminating or decreasing adverse health consequences. A screening program that finds diseases that occur less often could only benefit few individuals.

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While preventing even one death is important, given limited resources, a more cost-effective program for diseases that are more common should be given a higher priority, because it will help more people. Treatment of diseases at their earlier stages should be more effective than treatment begun after the development of symptoms. For example, cancer of the uterine cervix develops slowly, taking more than a decade for the cancer cells to progress to a phase of invasiveness. During this preinvasive stage, the cancer is usually asymptomatic but can be detected by screening using the Pap smear.

  • Some prenatal screening tests are done to determine whether a baby is likely to have specific health conditions or chromosomal abnormalities, like Down syndrome.
  • These complications usually are minor and go away shortly after the tests are done.
  • Chances are, your doctor mentioned these screening tests at your very first prenatal appointment, because most are done during the first and second trimesters.
  • If any of these screening tests show abnormal results, you may have follow-up screens or diagnostic tests that give your doctor more detailed information about your baby.

For example, blood levels of troponin rise when you have a heart attack. For this reason, doctors often order troponin tests when patients have chest pain or other heart attack signs and symptoms. People who choose to participate in screening programs tend to be healthier, have healthier lifestyles, and they tend to adhere to therapy better, and their outcomes tend to be better because of this. All of these factors can bias the apparent benefit of screening. The contingency table for evaluating a screening test lists the true disease status in the columns, and the observed screening test results are listed in the rows.

The table shown above shows the results for a screening test for breast cancer. There were 177 women who were ultimately found to have had breast cancer, and 64,633 women remained free of breast cancer during the study.

When you go for health checks, the laboratory tests done in the process will help in early detection and treatment of a potential health problem. Health checks vary from person to person, based on their sex, age, family health, and lifestyle. Health checks not only promote better health but also improve a patient-doctor relationship. The doctors can educate the patients about living a healthy life and how they can avoid dangerous habits such as alcoholism, tobacco addiction, binge eating, inactivity etc. Pregnant people who have a higher risk of having a child with certain conditions are usually offered additional screening tests.

For example, if you’ve lived in regions where tuberculosis is common, your doctor may order a tuberculin skin test. The primary purpose of screening tests is to detect early disease or risk factors for disease in large numbers of apparently healthy individuals. This blood test measures the prostate specific antigen levels in the blood. Antigens are any substances that evoke responses from a person’s immune system. The prostate specific antigen levels can be elevated in the presence of prostate cancer.

However, it is important to understand that other benign prostate conditions may also elevate PSA, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia , which is noncancerous swelling of the prostate. The PSA test is hair loss disease not recommended for all men, and there is considerable controversy over the role of PSA testing. Some organizations, such as the United States Preventive Services Task Force , now recommend against PSA screening. The pros and cons of PSA screening should always be discussed with your healthcare provider before testing. Some of the cons include unnecessary testing and procedures, unnecessary costs, and significantly increased anxiety.