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Very few people think they will experience a serious health problem later in life. Every cancer, heart disease or diabetes patient expresses shock at their diagnosis due to this common perception that these diseases only happen to others. This Health Reality Assessment is intended to help people get in touch with their true risk of potential illness in time to take preventative measures. There are two parts to this assessment; the first is a series of factoids, which confirm the health trends we typically wish to ignore or associate only to others. The second is a personal survey designed to help anyone make a basic first step in the assessment of their risk for future health problems.

Health Factoids

  1. Fifty years ago only 10% of the population was chronically ill. That figure is now over 40%.
  2. One in three Americans will die from some form of cancer.
  3. More than 33% of men develop some form of cardiovascular disease by the age of 60.
  4. More than 50 million Americans suffer from arthritis and related conditions.
  5. Diabetes affects more than 16 million people with many more cases undiagnosed.
  6. The percentage of overweight adults in America has reached an all time high of 55%.
  7. Obesity and the resulting health consequences (diabetes, heart attacks, etc.) cost the economy $52 billion in 1995.
  8. Over half of all women over 55 have some degree of osteoporosis.
  9. Healthcare costs as a percentage of the GNP have risen from 7.5% in 1970 to over 20% in 2000.
  10. About 70% of all illness and disease are preventable.

In light of these alarming but true facts please take a few minutes to complete the following mini-survey very honestly and then review the "possible next steps" section at the end of this assessment.

Personal Health Assessment Survey (tally sheet at end of questions)

  1. How well have you assessed your family health history and taken measures to avoid hereditary diseases?
  2. How well have you assessed your weight and taken measures to ensure your weight is not a problem to your health?
  3. How well have you been able to avoid tobacco of any kind in order to minimize its negative influence on your health?
  4. How well have you been able to sustain a regular aerobic and weight training routine to ensure a high level of fitness?
  5. How well do you maintain a healthy diet, which is low in fat and sugar but high in vegetables, fruits, water, non-animal protein and whole grain fiber?
  6. How well have you been able to identify and control the stress factors in your life?
  7. How well do you assess your actual state of health through regular exams for breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, etc.?
  8. How well do you maintain a stable home and personal life, which provides positive support for your health?
  9. How well do you maintain a stable and positive work life, which is rewarding and supportive of good health?
  10. How well do you maintain your knowledge about health and wellness through regular reading and development of a personal health improvement strategy?

Survey Tabulation (circle appropriate number)

Question #

Very Poorly

Poorly

Moderately

Well

Very well

•  Family history

0

3

6

12

15

•  Weight control

0

3

6

12

15

•  Tobacco control

0

3

6

12

15

•  Exercise program

0

3

6

12

15

•  Healthy diet

0

3

6

12

15

•  Stress control

0

1

2

4

5

•  Health exams

0

1

2

4

5

•  Home and personal

0

1

2

4

5

•  Work life

0

1

2

4

5

•  Health knowledge

0

1

2

4

5

 

0

20

40

80

100

Add all of the circled numbers

Tabulation Analysis

0 - 20 - Very serious situation that should be addressed by:

  • Taking a more detailed Health Risk Assessment
  • Taking a battery of health diagnostic tests
  • Meeting with a medical doctor trained in holistic medicine to design a comprehensive health improvement program.

20- 40 - Serious situation that should be addressed by:

  • Taking a more detailed Health Risk Assessment to identify the primary areas of health risk.
  • Take a battery of diagnostic tests especially on the areas identified in the HRA as being highest risk
  • Meeting with a medical doctor trained in holistic medicine who can design a coordinated program to address the highest risk areas as well as overall health.
  • Specialized health practitioners may need to be engaged to help deal with factors such as weight control or stress.

40-80 - Relatively good situation with one or more factors probably in the dangerous area.

  • Get more tests on the problem areas.
  • Contact specialist health practitioners to help design improvement programs.
  • Consult a holistic medical doctor to get advice on coordinating any multiple efforts to improve health.

80+ - Congratulations on maintaining such a good level of overall health. There may be one or two areas where improvement is possible.

  • Read up on those areas and design an improvement plan.
  • Share your plan with one or more of the health practitioners you visit to determine if they have any suggestions to add.
  • Keep reading and finding new pathways to good health.

*Special Note

It is possible to score relatively high overall and still have one or two areas of health in the dangerous range. Please check for any low scores and follow the strategy listed for the 40-80 range if this is the case.

 

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