Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Christmas 2016: Food for Thought

Is caviar a risk factor for being a millionaire?

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i6536 (Published 09 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6536

Re: Is caviar a risk factor for being a millionaire?

Whether a caviar is a related to wealth status of an individual or the automobile represents the taste of an aristocrat do not represent cause and effect of a individual's economy excepting representing the economic status of the individual.Therefore, diagnostic markers or outcome indicators help to help the therapeutic approach of a physician to bring the best out of one's treatment. Population screening for prevalence or prevention with biomarkers along with help determinants predict the health of the community in question and population at large.
Health determinants or factors that influence health could influence health in a positive or negative way. When it influences in a negative way and is repeatedly reported to be a factor that impairs health say like obesity it is taken as risk factor. Therefore risk factors can be defined as measurable biological characteristics of an individual that precedes a disease or its outcome. In contrast, biomarkers are biological indicators for processes that are involved in developing a disease that may or may not be causal. The difference between a risk factor and biomarker is subtle; a biomarker can be considered a form of risk factor that is not causal. A biomarker could be objectively measured and evaluated as a marker of normal biological process, pathogenic state or response to therapy or intervention. The biomarker need to be specific and sensitive and with high predictive value.
It is good to reflect and ponder the status of our health and health outcomes based on the predictions and preventive measures carried out by Health Officials to keep a community protected and treated. Searching for a better marker or risk factor or finding ways to a profile of markers to diagnose, treat or measure outcome will always be the avenues that Medicine will always be looking for. With high tech equipments and sensitive instruments,virtual and eMedicine will take health and medicine to newer avenues and heights. It takes the clinical acumen of the treating physician who need to select the relevant diagnostic tests and biomarker to treat the patient for best outcome.

I take this opportunity to greet all the great Editorial Board Members and BMJ team A X-mas wish and New Year greetings 2017 that will make them do more to medical journalism and educate all of us to respect human health.

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 December 2016
dhastagir Sheriff
Professor
Melmaruvathur Adhiparasakthi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research
Melmaruvathur