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Are You “At Risk”?

In the medical/healthcare field, the word “risk” is used quite often.  Being “at risk” implies that there is an increase in the chances of developing some sort of medical problem compared to other people.  

There are “risk factors” that are not under our control, most notably age and genetic/family history of various medical conditions. As an example, if every male in a family had their first heart attack, stent placement or coronary artery bypass grafting by the age of 60, the other males in that family are at high risk for developing heart issues in the future.  Another example: If breast cancer has been seen in a number of females in a family and the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene mutations are present, the risk of breast cancer becomes much higher in the females in that family.

There are a number of controllable factors that place people “at risk”.  Probably the four most prominent factors are cigarette smoking, illicit drug use, excessive alcohol consumption and poor weight control.  

If a person has a combination of both uncontrollable risk factors together with controllable ones, this is a recipe for medical disaster.  As an example, if the person with a strong family history of heart disease is obese and a cigarette smoker, the odds of that person developing heart problems is very high.

Take some time to assess the various factors that place YOU “at risk”.  If there is a family history of cancer, are you going in for the routine screening tests recommended?  If there is a family history of heart disease and your cholesterol level is high, are you on a statin?  If your blood pressure is borderline and there is a family history of stroke is your doctor being aggressive with your blood pressure management?  Is your weight situation placing you “at risk”?

Most companies have “risk management” divisions, knowing full well that there are plenty of “risks” that can jeopardize the financial viability of the company.  We all need to be our own “Risk Management Departments” and take the steps needed to lower those risks.

In 1983 a 21 year old Tom Cruise played the lead role in the movie, “Risky Business”.   Here is one of the songs from the soundtrack…enjoy Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band.

 

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