Tired of the "status quo" in your health care?

I receive several scholarly medical journals in the mail every month which I dutifully read to remain current on medical advances.  Many are helpful reviews, some are groundbreaking, many seem like common sense, and others seem blatantly obscured by ulterior motives seemingly in the best interests of a pharmaceutical company, medical device company, or legislation.  Sometimes, they leave me cynical.  

One article title in the Annals of Internal Medicine really piqued my interest to read it closely: "Cardiovascular Mortality Associated with 5 Leading Risk Factors: National and State Preventable Fractions Estimated from Survey Data."* Simply put, the authors tried to estimate what percentage of cardiovascular deaths could be prevented by treating the reversible risk factors of high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and smoking.  In the results section, they note that elimination of these 5 conditions would reduce cardiovascular deaths by 54% in men and 49% in women.

Wow!  That is amazing.  HALF of the deaths would be eliminated.  So, did the authors conclude that efforts should be doubled down to eliminate these factors?  Quite the opposite.  In the Conslusion section (the summary section, which is the one that most people skip to), they state that fewer than 10% of the cardiovascular deaths nationally could be prevented if all state were to achieve risk factors observed in the best performing states.  

WHAT HAPPENED?  How did they go from 50% to less than 10%?  The authors decided that elimination of those conditions was not feasible, and to set the bar and what current states achieve.  Since when do we look at a bad situation, one that by definition is "preventable" and decide that it is not "feasible" to eliminate these "preventable" conditions (the entire reason those conditions were being evaluated is that they are preventable, unlike genetics). 

Does this pass the "sniff test" to you?  Is this how you want your doctor to treat you?  It is not the goal I envision for the profession of medicine. Let's not let our doctors accept the stus quo as "feasible" when HALF of all cardiovascular deaths could be prevented.  Let's set the bar higher, expect more for each other, and eliminate these preventable conditions of high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. 

FInd out how at Rainier Medical Weight Loss & Wellness. 

*Patel, Shivani, PhD, et al. Annals of Internal Medicine, Volume 163, Number 4, page 245

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