Thursday, November 27, 2008

Submitting to the Science of Prevention

Wall Street Journal
I've had clothes custom-tailored by a seamstress. I've had vacations custom-planned by travel agents. And now, I've received a custom-designed personal health plan from medical experts.
Recently, I joined a group of volunteers at Emory University submitting to an exhaustive -- and exhausting -- "predictive health assessment" that researchers used to determine the specific health risks I face and to prescribe changes to my behavior and lifestyle with the aim of reducing those risks.
On two separate visits, researchers measured everything from the thickness of my arteries to the density of my bones. I answered countless questions about my social functioning, my emotional health, my eating habits and the quality of my sleep. I gave up samples of blood and other bodily fluids for standard tests, like cholesterol and hemoglobin levels, and more experimental tests, such as the levels of inflammation in my body and my ability to regenerate stem cells. After developing a personal health plan based on some of the results, I agreed to be nudged on a regular basis by a health coach to make sure I was adhering to my regimen.
Emory's Center for Health Discovery and Well Being, a partnership between Emory's Predictive Health Institute and the Georgia Institute of Technology, is part of an effort to answer one of the most pressing questions for health care in the U.S.: how to reverse the growing burden of chronic disease.
Many experts believe the answer the full article

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