• What's Included in Preventive Care?

    on Mar 16th, 2018

The goal of preventive care is to help you stay healthy and to prevent serious illness. Regular checkups, some medications, and many medical tests fall under this category.

Preventive care is critical because it can help you catch health issues before they become catastrophic. For example, it’s a lot easier to manage high blood pressure than it is to save you from a heart attack. Preventive care preserves your well-being, your quality of life, and your finances — health care costs often lead to bankruptcy.

Read on to find out what’s covered as preventive care, and what you should have checked on a regular basis.

Doctors’ visits

Regular well-baby and well-child visits from birth to age 21 are considered preventive care. Included at these screenings are growth evaluations, behavioral assessments, vision and hearing screenings, and comprehensive physical exams.

Well woman visits check the health of a woman’s reproductive organs and include Pap smears to screen for cervical cancer. An adult checkup also falls under preventive care and includes a comprehensive physical exam and gender- and age-specific health screenings.

Maternity and newborn care

Maternity and newborn care are preventive, too. Proper care early on helps ensure a woman has a healthy pregnancy and gives birth to a healthy baby, preventing expensive and debilitating complications with childbirth and in infancy.

Medicines

Medicines that are usually included as preventive include immunizations, allergy medications, and contraception. Flu and pneumonia shots are also considered preventive.


Screenings

Screenings for chronic disease are an essential part of preventive care. These include standard blood pressure readings, which begin in childhood, as well as cholesterol and blood sugar tests.

Cancer screenings, such as tests for skin cancer, colonoscopies, Pap smears, and mammograms are also preventive. Lab tests are usually considered preventive when they’re diagnostic — meaning they help the doctors determine if you have an illness or disease.

Counseling

Education and counseling about how to live a healthy lifestyle or manage risk factors for disease are considered preventive care. Examples include pregnancy counseling, education about healthy eating and weight loss, information about quitting smoking and reducing alcohol use, and guidance about depression.

Benefits of prevention

Major diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, can be managed successfully when in their early stages. The four leading causes of death — heart disease, cancer, stroke, and COPD — are caused by preventable chronic diseases.

Poor nutrition and obesity greatly increase your risk of heart disease, as do high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol. Smoking can also cause of lung cancer and COPD. Obesity puts you at risk of sleep apnea, arthritis, and some forms of cancer. Managing addiction, your weight, and eating habits early on can prevent disease in the future.

Take advantage of preventive care

Avail yourself of the preventive care available to you to stay healthy and avoid infirmity, disability, time off from work, financial stress, and interference with your daily life. Visit Danvers Family Doctors for preventive care for women, children, and adults.

Come in for a wellness exam yearly or more frequently, as suggested for children and people with illnesses. We offer screenings for blood pressure, skin cancer, and high cholesterol. Depending on your health insurance, many of these services are free or at a reduced cost with your plan.

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