A study conducted by the Rollins School of Public Health at the Emory University in Atlanta, GA, has uncovered some worrying truths. The research quite frankly shows that only you can prevent heart diseases, through taking care what, when, and how you eat, or drink.
Of course, the above is a bit of an overstatement, but the underlying message is true and demands urgent attention. The conclusion of the study is that in the US, one in two deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases among persons aged 45 to 79 could have been prevented. That’s 50 percent of the people saved. But how did they get to that number?
Lead author Shivani A. Patel says they used data from a phone based survey that was taken between 2009 and 2010 by more than 500 thousand patients in that age group, while also using statistics from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that, in 2010 in the US, 54 percent of disease deaths among men and 50 percent among women could have been prevented, but only if they could’ve eliminated every case of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and smoking. Yet this is unrealistic.
Besides the above conclusions, the study also showed that there isn’t a big difference between the worst off and best off states. Patel said that not even the best ones are doing well. The doctor said that if all states had the level of healthcare pertaining to the best states, still only five percent of the deaths in the US could’ve been prevented.
The biggest problem seems to be that by the time one reaches the age of 45, at least one of the risk factors is already present. But that is not usually the case, since most factors cluster, many Americans having more than one of them at a time. 80 percent of the people interviewed said they were exposed to at least one of them.
Dr. Blair J. O’Neill from the Alberta Health Services in Canada has said that the best improvement was seen when the tobacco legislation passed, which increased taxation of tobacco products, and therefore reduced adolescent smoking.
But there is still a long way ahead in the battle against heart diseases, so while treating the symptoms of current heart disease patients, Patel states that doctors should also focus on preventing the appearance of risk factors at an early age.
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