Did you know that the No. #1 cause of death amongst adult men and women is atherosclerosis, a disease affecting the arterial blood vessels? Although you may not feel it, when you have atherosclerosis, your blood vessels do not function as well as they could and it may reduce your quality of life, according to cardiologist Dr. Robert Ostfeld.
As you may have heard last weekend, NBC’s Meet the Press anchor, Tim Russet (age 58), died suddenly while at work due to a rupture in the artery caused by cholesterol plaque build up.1 Reports indicate that Tim has had coronary artery disease for many years, as well as an enlarged heart. His health was being monitored by his doctor and “under control” with medication and exercise; as a matter of fact, according to NBC, Tim did well on his stress test in April. Unfortunately, there was not a test available that could predict that plaque would rupture.
I know that this is hard for Tim’s family, friends and his fans, and I don’t want to exploit this situation. However, I do have several subscribers to this newsletter who are challenged with some sort of heart problem, who can learn from what has happened. So, please don’t stop reading this article, instead perform a self-check. If you know that you or someone else you know has been diagnosed with high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, an enlarged heart, diabetes, obesity, etc., stop wasting time; do your part by making some changes in your life. According to studies, heart atherosclerosis develops from LDL (bad cholesterol). LDL increases when you eat fried foods, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Some ways you can decrease LDL by eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acid, eating whole grains, losing weight and exercising.
So stop telling yourself that life is too short—you’re going to eat whatever you want. Stop telling yourself, that you can’t stop eating fried chicken and peach cobblers. Don’t allow your lusts/desires for unhealthy foods to determine your fate in life. The following are Dr. Cam Patterson’s, Chief of the Division of Cardiology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill four important steps to do concerning your health:
- Have a dialogue with your physician about your risk and whether you’re at high risk or not.
- Identify those things under your power to control and to change those that you can.
- Make those changes as part of a lifestyle commitment and not as a diet you fall on and off of; it really needs to be a lifestyle commitment.
- Understand that cardiovascular disease is the # 1 cause of death and disability in our society, so it’s something you really can’t afford to ignore.
“Tim Russet’s Death: Questions, Answers.” June 17, 2008. Medscape. June 18, 2008; http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/576251_print.
“Atherosclerosis.” June 13, 2008. Wikipedia. June 19, 2008. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atherosclerosis#Diet_and_dietary_supplements.