Items in AFP with MESH term: Primary Prevention
ABSTRACT: Physicians should use a checklist to facilitate discussions with new parents before discharging their healthy newborn from the hospital. The checklist should include information on breastfeeding, warning signs of illness, and ways to keep the child healthy and safe. Physicians can encourage breastfeeding by giving parents written information on hunger and feeding indicators, stool and urine patterns, and proper breastfeeding techniques. Physicians also should emphasize that infants should never be given honey or bottles of water before they are one year of age. Parents should be advised of treatments for common infant complaints such as constipation, be aware of signs and symptoms of more serious illnesses such as jaundice and lethargy, and know how to properly care for the umbilical cord and genital areas. Physicians should provide guidance on how to keep the baby safe in the crib (e.g., placing the baby on his or her back) and in the car (e.g., using a car seat that faces the rear of the car). It is also important to schedule a follow-up appointment for the infant.
Prevention of Falls in Older Patients - Article
ABSTRACT: Falls are one of the most common geriatric syndromes threatening the independence of older persons. Between 30 and 40 percent of community-dwelling adults older than 65 years fall each year, and the rates are higher for nursing home residents. Falls are associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and nursing home placement. Most falls have multiple causes. Risk factors for falls include muscle weakness, a history of falls, use of four or more prescription medications, use of an assistive device, arthritis, depression, age older than 80 years, and impairments in gait, balance, cognition, vision, and activities of daily living. Physicians caring for older patients should ask about any falls that have occurred in the past year. Assessment should include evaluating the circumstances of the fall and a complete history and physical examination, looking for potential risk factors. The most effective fall prevention strategies are multifactorial interventions targeting identified risk factors, exercises for muscle strengthening combined with balance training, and withdrawal of psychotropic medication. Home hazard assessment and modification by a health professional also is helpful.
Primary Prevention of Child Abuse - Article
ABSTRACT: In 1993, the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect declared a child protection emergency. Between 1985 and 1993, there was a 50 percent increase in reported cases of child abuse. Three million cases of child abuse are reported in the United States each year. Treatment of the abuser has had only limited success and child protection agencies are overwhelmed. Recently, efforts have begun to focus on the primary prevention of child abuse. Primary prevention of child abuse is defined as any intervention that prevents child abuse before it occurs. Primary prevention must be implemented on many levels before it can be successful. Strategies on the societal level include increasing the "value" of children, increasing the economic self-sufficiency of families, discouraging corporal punishment and other forms of violence, making health care more accessible and affordable, expanding and improving coordination of social services, improving the identification and treatment of psychologic problems, and alcohol and drug abuse, providing more affordable child care and preventing the birth of unwanted children. Strategies on the familial level include helping parents meet their basic needs, identifying problems of substance abuse and spouse abuse, and educating parents about child behavior, discipline, safety and development.
ABSTRACT: Lowering cholesterol can reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease. Treating hypertension reduces overall mortality and is most effective in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease in older patients. Smoking cessation reduces the level of risk to that of nonsmokers within about three years of cessation. Aspirin is likely to be an effective means of primary prevention, but a group in whom treatment is appropriate has yet to be defined. Evidence that supplementation with vitamin A or C reduces the risk of coronary heart disease is inadequate; the data for use of vitamin E are inconclusive. Epidemiologic evidence is sufficient to recommend that most persons increase their levels of physical activity. Lowering homocysteine levels through increased folate intake is a promising but unproven primary prevention strategy. Hormone replacement therapy was associated with reduced incidence of coronary heart disease in epidemiologic studies but was not effective in a secondary prevention trial.
Lightening the Lead Load in Children - Article
ABSTRACT: More than 4 percent of preschool-aged children in the United States have blood lead levels above 10 microg per dL (0.50 pmol per L), and these levels have been associated with a decline in IQ. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advocates the use of a screening questionnaire to identify lead exposure or toxicity in all children. Primary prevention through the removal of lead from gasoline and paint has led to a reduction of blood lead levels in children. Secondary prevention through paint hazard remediation is effective in homes that have a high lead burden. Children with lead levels of 45 to 69 microg per dL (2.15 to 3.35 pmol per L) should receive chelation therapy using succimer (DMSA) or edetate calcium disodium (CaNa2EDTA). Use of both CaNa2EDTA and dimercaprol (BAL in oil) is indicated in children with blood lead levels higher than 70 microg per dL (3.40 micromol per L). Current treatment recommendations are based on the reduction of blood lead levels, which may not represent a significant overall reduction of the lead burden. Clinical trials of existing agents are needed to determine patient-oriented outcomes, such as the effect on IQ.
ABSTRACT: In addressing the problem of malignant melanoma, family physicians should emphasize primary prevention. This includes educating patients about the importance of avoiding excessive sun exposure and preventing sunburns, and advising them about the importance of prompt self-referral for changing nevi. Family physicians should be able to perform an overall risk assessment for melanoma, particularly to identify persons with familial atypical mole syndrome. Patients with such high risk should be strongly considered for referral for dermatologic surveillance. Because there are no systematic studies in primary care populations, there are no data on which to base recommendations for periodic screening in this setting. However, when performing any part of the physical examination, family physicians should be alert for suspicious nevi. Nevi detected by the family physician or pointed out by the patient should be subject to excisional biopsy with accepted techniques or be referred for such a procedure.
Bicycle-Related Injuries - Article
ABSTRACT: Bicycle riding is a popular form of recreation among persons of all ages, and related injuries cause significant morbidity and mortality. Most injuries occur in males and are associated with riding at high speed; most serious injuries and fatalities result from collisions with motor vehicles. Although superficial soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal trauma are the most common injuries, head injuries are responsible for most fatalities and long-term disabilities. Overuse injuries may contribute to a variety of musculoskeletal complaints, compression neuropathies, perineal and genital complaints. Physicians treating such patients should consider medical factors, as well as suggest adjusting various components of the bicycle, such as the seat height and handlebars. Encouraging bicycle riders to wear helmets is key to preventing injuries; protective clothing and equipment, and general safety advice also may offer some protection.
Geriatric Screening and Preventive Care - Article
ABSTRACT: Preventive health care decisions and recommendations become more complex as the population ages. The leading causes of death (i.e., heart disease, malignant neoplasms, cerebrovascular disease, and chronic lower respiratory disease) among older adults mirror the actual causes of death (i.e., tobacco use, poor diet, and physical inactivity) among persons of all ages. Many aspects of mortality in older adults are modifiable through behavior change. Patients 65 years and older should be counseled on smoking cessation, diets rich in healthy fats, aerobic exercise, and strength training. Other types of preventive care include aspirin therapy; lipid management; and administration of tetanus and diphtheria, pneumococcal, and influenza vaccines. Although cancer is the second leading cause of death in patients 65 years and older, a survival benefit from cancer screening is not seen unless the patient's life expectancy exceeds five years. Therefore, it is best to review life expectancy, functionality, and comorbidities with older patients when making cancer screening recommendations. Other recommended screenings include abdominal aortic aneurysm for men 65 to 75 years of age, breast cancer for women 40 years and older with a life expectancy greater than five years, and colorectal cancer for men and women 50 years and older with a life expectancy greater than five years.
Making Wellness Medicine Work - Feature