Treatment for 'pre-conditions' may pose more risks than benefits

Individuals who are told that they have pre-hypertension, pre-diabetes, or other “pre-conditions” should not necessarily begin treatment, according to a Consumer Reports article published in The Washington Post on Oct. 21.

The article stated that while ignoring “troubling signs” such as rising blood pressure can be dangerous, treating “predisease”—which is sometimes diagnosed when screening results are abnormal, but do not meet the threshold for a particular disease itself—may pose risks that outweigh the benefits.

“There’s a very large pool of people that fit into these pre-disease ranges who will never go on to have any serious health consequences at all,” Jenny Doust, a professor of clinical epidemiology at Bond University, Queensland, Australia told Consumer Reports.

Definitions and explanations of a variety of “pre-conditions” are provided in the article, along with information from physicians and medical experts about how serious these “pre-conditions” are and how patients might address them with lifestyle and dietary changes or other measures. Featured “pre-conditions” include prediabetes, prehypertension, osteopenia, pre-cancer, dyslipidemia, and pre-dementia.

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