The Unhappening of Heart Disease
Main Article Content
Most of the major diseases, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in particular, are made to happen by patient actions. Relevantly, it has been said that 95% of ASCVD, diabetes, hypertension and lipid disorders are curable: made to unhappen. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in industrialized countries including the United States. Healthcare inflicts a significant societal burden in terms of cost, and accounts for one-fifth of the gross domestic product expenditure in the United States. CVD is a disease primarily brought on by lifestyle factors, underlying genetic susceptibility becoming manifest in time (aging). Given the significant burden of health care, a major focus is now on the preventive aspects to reduce the incidence and prevalence of not only CVD, but multiple other diseases. Most diseases occur if, and ONLY if, the person with a particular genetic tendency does what is necessary to express that genetic tendency. The American public has the same genetic make-up as all other populations, but our behavioral patterns are what have activated our disease-causing genes, resulting in the major diseases and costs of our culture. By changing our behaviors, we can prevent the expression of those genetically-originated and behaviorally induced medical conditions and costs. This includes the basic requirements: clean air, clean water, a 90+% minimally-processed, high-fiber and ideally organic whole foods, diet with any pleasure-generating food once in a while, exercise to the point of developing abdominal clear lines of definition and demarcation, and the avoidance of unrealistic expectations. This article provides the Preventive Medicine Center’s (PMC) philosophy and outlines guidelines that would lead to significant regression of ASCVD and reduce the disease burden in our communities as a whole. These recommendations are an invitation to consider and provide the reasonable probability of freeing the patient from the risk of disease by the “unhappening” of (heart) disease.
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