Symptom treatment versus disease prevention

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The current picture of health

What is your approach to staying healthy? In today’s society, you are most likely following the general “rules of health”. Eating your vegetables, working out a couple of times a week and avoiding cigarettes and binge drinking. Maybe you even take supplements and use a smartwatch to optimise your sleep. This is in general a great approach for most people, however, it lacks the implementation of specific knowledge about the individual. The diet you think is optimal based on general advice, might be suboptimal if your metabolism of certain foods is different from the general population. The supplements you take might be useless for you, if you do not take into consideration how your body will break them down and how good it is at already producing e.g. the vitamins present in the supplement. If you’re predisposed to certain diseases, you might need to take very specific preventative measures, based on that knowledge.

“Our discussions with doctors in Denmark, has made it clear that the individualised preventative approach is largely lacking from the healthcare system for most diseases.”

The healthcare system lacks the individualised preventative approach

If you get symptoms of a disease, you will most likely go to the doctor. The doctor will try to diagnose you and then treat those symptoms or the disease in itself. Let’s take an example where you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. No one in your family has had it and you had no idea you would be in a risk group for that disease. The doctor will give you some general advice about the disease and you will most likely get treated with insulin moving forward. What if you, 10 years earlier, had known that you had this predisposition? This would have increased your awareness of the subject and would have allowed you to take preventative measures. It would increase your motivation to decrease sugar intake and keep your weight at an acceptable level. You would know to follow a low-carb/high-fiber diet and pay more attention to your vitamin D intake. The result of this might have been that you would never be diagnosed with the disease or that you would at least have postponed it to later in life. This is the health approach of the future, as it is not just a win for you, but a win for society as well.

Societal gains from preventative measures

In 2017, 4.5% of the Danish population had type 2 diabetes. That is roughly 256.000 people and represents a large increase from 1995 where only 1.2% of the population lived with the disease. With type 2 diabetes, there is a huge untapped potential for early intervention of the disease, both in regard to diet and exercise. This will not only improve quality of life for the individual and the communities, but will have a large economic impact as well. In 2020, the economic cost of the diseases developed as a result of type 2 diabetes was 850 million DKK. Keep in mind that does not take into consideration the economic costs caused by type 2 diabetes in itself. The total cost of diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, amounts to 31.8 billion DKK every single year. How do we then imagine that we can decrease these costs, meanwhile improving people’s lives?

The Pregenic approach

At Pregenic, we envision a future where everyone has knowledge about their genetic predispositions to diseases. Taking this into consideration together with current lifestyle and environmental influences, provides a huge potential for taking proactive measures and postponing or preventing the onset of disease.

This will increase societal health, going in line with the 3rd UN goal of Sustainable Development Goals: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.Furthermore, this will save society a lot of health-related costs.

At Pregenic we want to raise your awareness and encourage you to take your health into your own hands while being smart about it. Optimise your life.

1 thought on “Symptom treatment versus disease prevention”

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