Prevention: My Approach
The following is an excerpt from my book ‘Prevention: The Most Important Treatment of Heart Disease’.
The Importance of Prevention: The Number-One Killer
Someone you know has heart disease.
It could be one of your family members, a close friend, or a co-worker.
It may even be you.
Heart disease, or coronary artery disease, is the number-one killer of men and women. Combined with stroke, cardiovascular disease is responsible for more deaths than all forms of cancer, lung disease, and accidents—combined!
In the United States, someone suffers a heart attack every thirty seconds, and someone dies from one every sixty seconds.
Tragically, most people who experience a myocardial infarction die before their ambulance reaches the hospital.
Even if you are fortunate enough to make it to the hospital your chances are only one in four of surviving to your next birthday.
These are sobering statistics, and you need to avoid being one of them.
Emergency room doctors have a saying: “Everyone eventually passes through the E.R.”
Many people also believe that heart disease is “inevitable” and “just happens.”
Having a heart attack is not a foregone conclusion.
Angioplasty or bypass surgery is not your destiny.
There isn’t a cardiac stent with your name on it.
You need to stay healthy and avoid the emergency room.
Staying healthy is prevention.
If you give your best effort to making the necessary lifestyle changes to avoid heart disease and cancer, chances are good you’ll live to a very old age.
When it comes to your heart health there are three events you can prevent:
A heart attack
An angioplasty or stent
A bypass surgery
If you’ve already suffered a heart attack or had an angioplasty or a bypass surgery, there are three events you must prevent:
A second heart attack
A second angioplasty or stent
A second bypass surgery
No, we can’t prevent all heart disease. But you can certainly do a great deal to avoid becoming a cardiology statistic.
In addition to the obvious dangers of heart disease, there’s also the added cost and inconvenience.
Think of all the time you’ll waste just in your doctor’s waiting room alone.
Then there’s the expense of endless doctor appointments, tests, procedures, and medications.
You need to do all you can to avoid this.
Now for the good news.
Did you know that you can reduce your chance of suffering or dying of a heart attack by 30-40% just by walking thirty minutes a day? Seems really easy, doesn’t it? Yet, most people don’t make time to perform any exercise at all. We’re just too busy.
Please don’t misconstrue my message.
I don’t want you to avoid doctors or hospitals if you have a medical problem. If you have heart disease, you need to be under a cardiologist’s care. But if you do all that you can to prevent heart disease, you may not ever need a cardiologist.
Gregg Yamada MD FACC
Disclaimer: I hope you find my medical blogs to be pertinent, interesting, and thought provoking. The information provided is educational and should not be taken as medical advice. I am a doctor, but I am not your doctor. Please schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss these issues and to determine what is right for you.
© 2020. Gregg M. Yamada, MD FACC. All rights reserved.