Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Cut Risk of Heart Disease

Which of the following measures will cut a patient's risk of heart disease by 50%?

1.  Losing weight
2.  Stop Smoking
3.  LDL-C below 100 mg/dl
4.  Blood Pressure below 120/80 mmhg

If you said "Stop Smoking" you would be correct.  Does that surprise you?  We hear about blood pressure control, cholesterol control and getting weight under control but cigarettes are the biggest risk factor for

Calories Still Matter

The Centers for Disease Control's NHANES surveys documented a massive increase in obesity in the United States between the 1960-62 and 2007-2008 survey periods (1).  In 1960, 13 percent of US adults were obese, while in 2008 that number had risen to 34 percent.  The prevalence of extreme obesity increased from 0.9 to 6.0 percent over the same time period!

Something has changed, but what?  Well, the most parsimonious explanation is that we're simply eating more.  Here is a graph I created of our calorie intake (green) overlaid on a graph of obesity prevalence (blue) between 1970 and 2008:

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