According to a new study, it appears that doctors are able to predict a patient’s development of a chronic disease within five years with an accuracy rate of about 77 percent. Called the Intermountain Chronic Disease Risk Score, or ICHRON, researchers use a routine blood test to help predict what health will be in the future. The test is designed to illustrate the risk of developing some of the most common chronic diseases, including diabetes, dementia, COPD, stroke, heart failure and heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, kidney failure, atrial, fibrillation, and coronary heart disease.
When it comes to those receiving senior care, many individuals are in need of care because they have suffered or are suffering from one of the above mentioned diseases. And although this test is not widely available yet, if it is deemed something that will be helpful to the general public after more research is conducted, this may be a good indicator of who will need in-home care assistance in the future.
One of the disturbing things that this same study revealed was that the rate of chronic disease development is increasing. Researchers indicated that if current trends continue, there will be a 40 percent increase in the number of chronic health issues in the next ten years. This is another reason why preventative measures like ICHRON are so necessary; they have the potential to help researchers to solve health crises before they begin.
You might have heard the saying “prevention is the best medicine.” This is true from a health point of view–when you prevent major health issues you are able to give yourself a higher quality of life. It’s also true from an economic point of view. Treating something like diabetes can be very costly. Preventing the disease in the first place can save on all of those medical costs. And because many of the diseases mentioned above can lead to a need for senior care, you can help reduce the likelihood of needing this service in the next few years. While we here at Paradise In-Home Care do all that we can to keep costs as reasonable as possible for the people that we assist, we realize that the cost of care can be a huge burden. By helping an elderly loved one to address health issues sooner rather than later, you can do your part to help them keep their costs down, too.
Besides, better health leads to a higher quality of life. If you or a loved one do find that you are at risk of developing a chronic health issue, the sooner that steps are taken to prevent it from occurring, the better your health is likely to be in the coming years. Whether this test becomes publicly available or not will remain to be seen, but taking steps toward improving health now is a good idea regardless. Healthier diets, more exercise, and quitting smoking are just a few things you can do. Speak with a doctor if you have more questions about this.