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Making health care about health

October 25, 2009
by Julie Deardorff
Chicago Tribune

In medical offices across the country, doctors practice primary prevention when they administer flu shots or immunizations, check a patient's blood pressure or cholesterol and perform cancer screenings such as mammograms, trying to identify people who could become ill and minimize that potential.

Secondary prevention occurs when physicians help people with illnesses such as heart disease, asthma or diabetes manage those conditions and avoid possible complications. About 75 percent of health care spending is driven by people with chronic illnesses, according to Jeff Levi, executive director of The Trust for America's Health.

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