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Five simple health measures could save lives

A new study reveals that five simple health measures could save your life and those of 100,000 other Americans this year. The American health care system is often criticized for placing too much emphasis on disease treatment and less effort on disease prevention. But preventing disease can have a big payoff, according to a new study. Researchers estimate that 100,000 lives could be saved each year if more people adopted a few simple steps that can reduce their chances of illness and death. For example, 45,000 fewer people would die of heart disease if older adults used daily aspirin therapy. Less than half of those eligible for preventive aspirin treatment do so now. Health professionals could save 42,000 more lives if they counseled their smoking patients about quitting and gave them medication to help kick the habit. Just 28 percent of smokers receive these services today. About 12,000 lives would be saved if most people received an annual flu shot. Fewer than half of adults are up-to-date on their colonoscopy tests and only two-thirds of older women have recently had a mammogram for breast cancer. Roughly 16,000 more cancer deaths could be avoided if most people got these recommended tests on schedule.

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