Good Health Blog

Why don’t you ask about arthritis?

- October 10, 2018

The question ‘why don’t you ask about arthritis’ was posed in a feedback comment after someone had ticked the relevant boxes to determine their preventative health recommendations. The answer is worth a general discussion. The lifestyle, family and personal medical conditions that are detailed are not a comprehensive list of every medical problem. They are the ones that are relevant to a screening recommendation. There are many thousands of medical conditions that it is not useful to specifically screen for because early detection does not help and may actually be detrimental. Arthritis is currently a problem to be handled at diagnosis. Preventative factors relevant to arthritis are exercise, weight, smoking etc. These are all in the generated recommendations at appropriate ages.  We specifically do no ask about arthritis because having it, or a family history of arthritis, does not trigger a preventative health screen recommendation.
I have had substantial feedback about the number of recommendations when people barely tick any medical problems. Many screening recommendations are generated based on simply age and sex. The other factors all come into play but in themselves usually only generate a specific recommendation. For example; bowel cancer screening should be started at age 50 for everyone. If you tick ‘family history bowel cancer’ a second recommendation based on your family history details when you should have a colonoscopy (which may be much younger).

I encourage feedback. If you find an error or have a suggestion please drop me a line on the ‘contact us’ page.