Monday, November 20, 2006

Young at Heart

I had a very distressing conversation with one of our janitors today, a wonderful woman whose 26-year old neice just passed because of a heart attack. While all deaths are tragic, the loss of a young single mother in the prime of her life of a disease considered an older-person's disease is truly shocking. So I looked on WebMD to see how common heart attacks among younger people are. The study they cite was quite shocking:
The investigators examined young people aged 15 to 34 who had died in a car accident, homicide, or suicide and found that even in men as young as 15, over 2% of them had advanced cholesterol plaques in the arteries of their heart. More than 20% of men aged 30 to 34 had these advanced plaques. Such plaques can turn into atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. That can lead to complete blockages, heart attacks, and strokes.

They recommend that everyone over 20 check their cholestrol levels every five years. But in the end, for most people, there are the same familiar words: diet, exercise, lifestyle choices. So think about your mom weeping over your hospital bed or casket the next time you decide that fries are a vegetable or switching channels on a remote is exercise!

1 comment:

Su said...

One of my classmates from Undergrad passed away like this as well. Teetotaller, on the thinner side, she fell into a faint and died in the middle of class in her MBA.

I guess there's no one stop shop to prevent these things. However, I did read once that eating French fries was the same as putting a gun to your head. Have not eaten them ever since :(

Hypocrites we all are :)