Would the Real Killers Please Stand Up!! Heart Disease is NOT Number 1!


Yes, I know you might be thinking, has Coop lost his mind? He’s a heart doctor, why would he say that? Of course heart disease deaths outpace all other major illness categories combined. Does it? Yes, it does at least from the perspective lens through which we view it.

One of my objectives, when I speak and write on this subject, is to change perspectives on how we might view some of the laissez-faire facts, figures and slogans we hear from various sources on a daily basis. I think we have a tendency to become “comfortable” with these dogmatic (in some ways) issues. We are quite prolific at measuring the output or outcome of a disease process or procedure and reporting it as “the problem.”

Contrarily, we tend to gloss over the inputs, the triggers or risks that contribute to the development of a particular condition. Why? Because to do so would lead us down the seemingly difficult path of cause, effect and prevention. Thus, we begin to talk prevention and invariably, we have to discuss lifestyles and lifestyle choices, including how we eat, whether we smoke, drink in excess or get the recommended daily exercise needed to sustain wellness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1, we have a long way to go to get to an ideal level of health and wellness. However, doing so would relieve us (individuals and the health care system) of a major burden.

Here are some sobering facts:

We don’t get enough exercise. Only 50% of us get the recommended daily dose. Remember, it’s 30 minutes 5-6 days a week with a goal to achieve your recommended target heart rate. For those who “don’t have time” then double the numbers because you will need it in the long run. As far as time is concerned, let me change your perspective again, the recommendation adds up to 1.8%, that’s 3 of the 168 hours available in a week. Get busy!
The risk factor burden is too high. Half of Americans have at least one major risk factor for heart attack and stroke including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight or obese or cigarette smoking. Ninety percent of us consume 10 times the recommended daily intake of sodium which contributes to high blood pressure.
Dare I mention nutrition. We are barely scratching the surface on this problem. Even worse, our children and adolescents eat horribly. You don’t need numbers on this one. All those sexy lattes and Frappuccino are loaded with just about everything you don’t need.

90% of all health care expenditure are spent on treating chronic conditions
300 billion on heart disease
250 billion on diabetes
290 billion on smoking related illnesses
300 billion lost productivity due to chronic disease

Ok, are you with me now? Yes, heart disease is a major “killer” in this country and around the world. And yes, we should continue to focus on efforts to reduce the burden of heart disease in our society through clinical practice, research and educating the community at large. We won’t and shouldn’t give up the fight.

Would the real killers please stand up?


1 thought on “Would the Real Killers Please Stand Up!! Heart Disease is NOT Number 1!”

  1. As you will inevitably learn on your path to losing weight, effective weight loss is not only about watching what you eat, but much more about changing your lifestyle. This means changing your habits and how you approach your day-to-day life. Read this information to help you throughout the process.

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