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November 17, 1999

Progressing From Disease Prevention to Health Promotion—Reply

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephenLurieMD PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(19):1812-1813. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-19-jbk1117

In Reply: Dr Peterson proposes expanding the concept, from disease prevention to health promotion, beyond the physical health domain to embrace the social domain as well. His proposal makes sense to me. My intent, however, was merely to specify aspects of health that fall well within the usual scope of medical practice as targets for the next phase of health advance, namely, health promotion beyond disease prevention for individuals.

Dr Portnoi suggests that an "additional burst of longevity" may follow eliminating morbidity among humans. Striving for such elimination should certainly continue as a medical ideal, especially among older people, for whom I agree so much remains to be accomplished. However, I doubt that progress in that direction will extend human longevity (50% chance of living) beyond 85 to 100 years.

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