The statistics are scary. Every 33 seconds, someone will suffer a heart attack and 50% of these victims will not have had warning prior to the attack.
Each year over 1 million Americans have a heart attack. Over 350,000 will die from that heart attack and 250,000 will die within an hour of the attack. More than ½ the deaths in this country can be attributed to cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) disease.
Many of us have felt secure if our cholesterol level was below a certain level. But the author did a 5 year study that indicated that 50% of all heart attacks occur among people with normal cholesterol. So having good cholesterol numbers are certainly not a guarantee against heart attacks.
We all want to lower our chances of attack. We know that risk factors include
But heart attacks and strokes are still occurring even with patients who exercise and don't have the other common risk factors.
- advanced age,
- high cholesterol,
- high blood pressure,
- and family history.
What can you do? This book suggests other risk factors that are not well-known, but that can make a major difference. The author says that 80% of the dysfunctions do not show up in the routine blood tests most of us receive during our annual physical.
I think it is particularly valuable as a reference to begin an intelligent dialog with your own doctor. You care more about your own health than anyone else possibly could and you need to claim responsibility for that - not just assume that your doctor, and routine tests will suffice. As he says, the three words you don't want to say are "You're the doctor."
This book will also be valuable if you have heart disease in your family. It explains that heart disease begins in the teen years and offers hope for those who have suffered the premature loss of relatives.
It's a thorough and detailed book and you certainly should not take it as gospel. But you should use it as a springboard for discussions with your own doctors.