Few things in life pay off as muchastaking preventive measures. Consider for instance, that seat belts are credited by the National Highway Traffic Safety Council with saving more than 250,000 lives since 1975.

Preventive medicine has benefits as well. A recent study found that eating dark chocolate every day reduces the risk of fatal heart attacks and strokes. And the Mayo Clinic advises that doing crossword puzzles and other mental exercises can help stave off memory loss.

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