Heart Attack, Makes a Comeback

Pictured above is an open heart surgical procedure, I hope none of you ever need to go through with this. It is a very expensive life saving operation that is a bitch to recover from, and in many cases could have been avoided simply by life style modifications.

Excerpts from the Wall Street Journal this morning.

Heart Attack at 49—America’s Biggest Killer Makes a Deadly Comeback

Younger people, women and nonsmokers are more likely to be victims of the crisis in cardiovascular health, driven by skyrocketing obesity and diabetes

Driven by skyrocketing obesity and diabetes. Let that sink in for a moment. Both conditions are entirely preventable and under your control.

One of America’s greatest achievements over much of the past century has been a huge decline in death rates from heart disease and strokes. Anti-smoking campaigns, medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol, and surgical advances have extended millions of lives, fundamentally reshaping the U.S. population.

Now, progress has stalled. That’s helping drive down life expectancy in the U.S. after decades in which each generation of Americans could expect to live longer than the one that came before.

The death rate for cardiovascular disease—which includes heart disease and strokes—has fallen just 4% since 2011 after dropping more than 70% over six decades, according to mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Particularly alarming is that the death rate is actually rising for middle-aged Americans.

Look around you, everywhere you go, and note the high rate of obesity in our society. Everywhere you turn, there is someone shoving sugar laden junk food down their piehole like there is no tomorrow, and bitching about the rising cost of health care as if they have no shared responsibility in skyrocketing costs. News flash, as citizens, we all have a part of the shared responsibities of this cost. While government, Big Pharma and Big Medicine play a huge role, you had better take a look in your mirror and see who else is causing this enormous economic problem across the country.
The overall cardiovascular-disease death rate is an under-recognized contributor to the recent decline in U.S. life expectancy. While that has been driven mostly by deaths from drug overdoses and suicides, improvements in cardiovascular health are no longer providing a counterbalance.

How many people do you, or have you known, who go in for heart treatments or procedures who continue to not take personal responsibility for their own health? Odds are, you know someone like this or might even be this type yourself. They want the doctor to siply give them a medicine to make their ailments go away, and then contiinue on with their unhealthy habts that got them down in the first place. As a society in whole, maybe we deserve to not be able to afford medical treatments. What will it take for people to change their ways? What will it take for us to take our health matters into our own hands instead of relying on doctors to fix us?

Heart disease was once on course to fall below cancer as the nation’s leading cause of death, a change public-health statisticians most recently predicted would occur by 2020. No longer, said Robert Anderson, chief of the CDC’s mortality statistics branch. “It’s highly unlikely given the current trend that there will be a crossover anytime soon,” he said.

The obesity epidemic and related rise in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes are key culprits in the new wave of cardiovascular disease mortality, researchers and cardiologists say. Studies have linked obesity and diabetes to high blood pressure and other conditions that increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.

Why, in this day of advanced knowledge over years gone by do we have a damn problem with obesity? When I was a child, it was not the norm for children to be fat and riddled with adult issues such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. In today’s society, this is not uncommon to find anywhere in the country.

Nearly 40% of U.S. adults age 20 and over are obese, another 32% are overweight, and 9.4% of U.S. adults 18 and over have diabetes, according to the CDC.

The consequences of obesity are eroding the enormous gains brought about by public-health campaigns against smoking, along with medical innovations such as cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Statins, which were introduced starting in the late 1980s, have prevented millions of Americans from developing life-threatening blockages in their blood vessels that can cause heart attacks.

As a society, we are eroding the gains brought about by public health campaigns. Yet we want the health care industry to keep up with us moving the damn goal posts on them. If right now as you read this you are munching down on a doughnut or other sweet treat and washing it down with a soda pop or sugar ladened cup of coffee, think of the difficult circumstances you are creating for these researchers who work to find ways to repair your bad health even though you might never consider taking your own responsibility.

Today’s heart-disease victim is vastly different from the classic patient doctors and the public were trained to recognize a half-century ago: a smoker, usually male, whose LDL, or “bad” cholesterol numbers were “sky high,” said Dr. Nissen. Now, the patients are younger, more obese, much less likely to be smokers and include more women, he said. Many are unaware that they are at risk.

Unaware they are at risk?

Are you kidding me?

Let me be blunt, if you are obese or overweight and unaware that you are at risk of heart disease or heart attack, you are either willfully blind, a special kind of stupid, or both. Does that statement piss you off? Tough shit, suck it up buttercup. If you are fat and out of shape, your ability to perform any kind of physically demanding work is either greatly reduced or non-existent and you damn well know it. If a little exertion has your heart rate going up and causes you to be out of breath, you had better know that your cardiovascular health is poor. If the numbers on your scale skyrocket higher and higher on a consistent basis, and you have high blood pressure and do not understand why, there is a serious disconnect from reality on your part.

“I’ve been working in a coronary-care unit for 40 years, and the patient that comes in now looks completely different from the patient when I was starting out,” he said. “It is an absolutely striking difference.”

He calculated the median BMI of patients in the unit one day recently. Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or above. The unit’s median was 34, he said. Several patients had BMIs over 40.

Comments and questions are most welcome!

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