Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Creating a "culture of prevention"
On CNN's American Morning today I talked about the latest news regarding heart disease. It's pretty sobering. Already heart disease is the biggest killer of men and women in most developed nations in the world. Unless we do more, the situation may become much, much worse.
A study published in one of the big medical journals is titled, "The International Pandemic of Chronic Cardiovascular Disease," and that really says it all. Researchers examined data of almost 70,000 people from 44 countries who had some confirmed evidence of heart disease or a combination of risk factors such as smoking, hypertension and excess weight. Most alarming was that one out of every seven had a catastrophic event within just one year. They either had a heart attack, a stroke or they died. (Full Story)
Certainly, we are better than ever at treating heart disease, but we are still not a society that practices a culture of prevention. We can unclog blood vessels with angioplasty, even bypass them with open-heart surgery. We can use medications to stop plaque from forming and sometimes reverse its growth. The problem is that too many people are waiting too long. Too many people never get a chance to prevent the diseases that eventually rob them of their lives and their well being.
One of my great passions is to try and create this "culture of prevention." It makes sense medically, morally and financially. People will live healthier and more functional lives without spending countless days in intensive care units and assisted-living facilities. Still, we are in constant firefighter mode, rushing to the scenes of disasters, instead of preventing the fires in the first place. I would love to hear your thoughts on how to work toward a culture of prevention.
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