Archive for the ‘Preventive medicine’ Category

AMA logo_1_1

front cover

From the AMA:   “CDC (Center for Disease Control–a federal agency) data suggesting that about one-quarter of cardiovascular deaths in the US are preventable received coverage in two of the most widely-circulated papers in the country, on at least ten major websites, and on one of last night’s national news broadcasts. Nearly all of the articles quote CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden. Much of the coverage focuses on the finding that many of the preventable deaths occur in individuals younger than age 65.

“The Wall Street Journal (9/4, Mckay, Winslow, Subscription Publication, 5.33M) reports that Frieden said, “As a doctor, I find it really heartbreaking to know that the vast majority of people who are having a heart attack or stroke under the age of 65 in particular and dying from it didn’t have to have that happen.

Bloomberg News (9/4, Edney, 1.41M) reports that while “the rate of preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke fell 30 percent from 2001 to 2010,” there was little “improvement in those younger than 65, the CDC said.”


The news here is not that prevention does work, but that it is not working as well as it should for individuals who are in younger age groups. This  quote is from the Wall Street Journal article,  “Fewer people in the U.S. are succumbing to preventable death from cardiovascular disease, but most of the improvement in rates is among the elderly, rather than among younger adults who are also at risk, according to federal data released Tuesday.”

There are a variety of reasons as to why the prevention message isn’t working so well  in the young.  Click on the WSJ article and read some more, but I must emphasize that coronary heart disease begins in childhood where “fatty streaks” may be found in the arteries of children. I fault parents who do not institute prevention measures  in the home.  If you know young parents who are serving their kids foods that are high if fat, sugar and salt, tell them about this trial and, if they are clueless, have them order a copy of our book Prevention Does Work:  A Guide to a Healthy Heart.  It’s a paper back that sells for about $12.00.   Just type my name  in the search at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.  We don’t make enough money to get baby a new pair of shoes, but we do want to help spread the word.  Our book is unique as it contains 2-in-1:   Part I–A doctor explains the issues in a way that respects the intelligence of our readers and Part II—a cook tells how to prepare food properly for heart-healthy eating.

There are, of course, other issues including the fact that young people feel invincible and so they are sloppy eaters and they get fat and they smoke and don’t exercise.  And then there are parents who smoke around kids and don’t encourage exercise.  Parents need to set an example.

Doctors need to think about prevention instead of waiting to treat the occurrence of disease.  When I lecture on this subject I often begin by asking, “How many of you have ever heard your doctor utter the word ‘prevention.’ ”   Usually only a few hands go up.

The findings noted above are a tragedy.  Heart disease can be prevented, and prevention measures have been proven to work for all ages.

CHARLIE BYRD.   “The Very Thought of You.”

Read Full Post »

NBC Nightly News (2/27, story 8, 1:45, Williams) reported a study suggesting that “people with low levels of Omega 3 fatty acids had brains with less volume compared with people who had higher levels of the same fatty acids.”

HealthDay (2/28, Storrs) cautions that the research “did not prove that omega-3 fatty acids prevent mental decline, merely that there may be an association between consumption of fatty acids and brain health.

WebMD (2/28) reports, “Previous studies have already shown that people who eat a diet high in fatty fish like salmon and tuna have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Researchers say these results may help explain why.”

Blogfinger Medical Commentary  by Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC:

My mother often told me that fish was “brain food” as she fed me, my brother and my father tuna fish sandwiches and frozen fish sticks.  I actually believed her, although in med school they never made that claim. Now, according to the Neurology Department at UCLA, she may have been right. They should put her name on that paper in the Feb 28 issue of the journal Neurology.

Many doctors are advocating fish oil capsules to achieve some anticipated health results having to do with protecting arteries from damage. But the bulk of fish oil clinical studies were done showing benefits from eating fish.  Presumably taking fish oil capsules will be just as helpful as eating fish, but fish has many nutritional advantages beyond merely swallowing a two pound fish oil capsule each day.

In our book “Prevention Does Work: A Guide to a Healthy Heart” we recount the fish oil story. In addition, in Eileen’s heart healthy cookbook section, we purposely stress sea food preparation. Out of her 34 original and easy-to-prepare recipes, 15 are for seafood. Below is her clam chowder (the red kind) recipe which is a variation on the “Seafood Chowder with Red Potatoes” which is in the book.

In addition, here are two Blogfinger seafood recipes: One is Vivian Huang’s Steamed Fish and the other is Eileen’s Italian Fish soup with Swiss chard.

Link for steamed fish recipe

Italian fish soup

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: