by James Yang, M.D.
Other patients, I am waiting to hear back from; some of whom have likely fallen off the wagon of healthy living during this holiday season and are feeling guilty. In one of the most well known theories of how we change, the “stages of change” model anticipates setbacks, envisioning the path as an upward spiral where each attempt, even when it fails to stick, moves us one step closer to success. We have gained new knowledge, new skills, and felt the inner yearning inside of us to come back to health. Many of us, have experienced a sense of health which we now know is possible. The attempts we make at improving our health fortifies us for our future efforts to improve our health.
A new study recently published highlights just how important these efforts are. The study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), found that almost 4 of 5 heart attacks may be preventable with lifestyle modification. The study looked at 20,721 Swedish men who were followed for 11 years after their lifestyle habits were assessed. All men started out healthy, without cardiovascular disease or risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes or high cholesterol. They found that 5 factors independently reduced the risk for heart attack, decreasing overall risk by 86% for men who did all five:
- Maintained a healthy diet
- Drank alcohol moderately
- Did not smoke
- Stayed physically active
- Maintained their waist line
Compare this to cholesterol medications like statins, where the risk of heart disease in healthy patients is only reduced by about 25%; much of the remaining 75% still needs to be actively reduced through lifestyle changes.
I invite all the patients at Metro, and certainly all my patients that I have worked with, to follow up with their medical provider to make 2015 the very best year for your health! Old and new patients, can make an appointment for a physical where we can help measure one’s risk factor and monitor any chronic conditions. Most patients with chronic conditions requiring medication management should have a follow up every 3-6 months to ensure optimal management.
We hope to see you this year and hope you have a healthy, happy 2015!