As a priority issue is identified, it is vital that there is potential for prevention and early intervention that will make treatment more successful. The easier it is to prevent a disease the more likely a health promotion will have an impact on the burden of the disease and reduce its incidence. If prevention cannot occur, then early intervention is preferable, with higher rates of survival for those diagnosed and treated early for the condition.
Examples of diseases that have high potentials for being prevented include type II diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and obesity. These are lifestyle diseases mostly caused by inactivity and poor dietary choices, though this is not always the case. A particular preventative action that has been taken recently is to reduce smoking in order to reduce diseases that are linked to and caused by smoking, such as: COPD, cerebrovascular disease, and lung cancer.
Other diseases have higher rates of successful treatment when identified and treated early. This means they have potential for early intervention. Examples of diseases with potential for early intervention are: all cancers, cardiovascular disease, and musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis.
In relation to health priorities in Australia, the more potential for prevention and early intervention the more likely the health issue will be made a priority. This is particularly the case if the condition has both potential for prevention and potential for early intervention.