Friday, April 27, 2007

Will Someone Please STOP the Insanity

I recently completed another one of those online "Heart Disease Risk Analyses" that are becoming more and more frequent on hospital websites (You can find this particular one at They all involve filling out an online questionnaire asking questions about height, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. They then electronically compare your answers with the motherload of all heart health studies, the Framingham Heart Study experience.

Now, don't get me wrong, the Framingham Study is the "motherload" of all heart disease risk analyses. It has an unbelievable amount of data catalogued over decades of experience. It's problem, like most risk analysis of this ilk, is that all it tells you is your risk. It does not tell you whether you actually have heart disease. BUT A HEART SCAN WILL!!!

For example, my risk for developing heart disease, based on all the data I supplied, was a mere 9%! Nine percent?!!! My actual risk for heart disease is 100%! I have it and it has been confirmed by a half dozen heart scans over the last six years! If all I did was take this online test I might still be eating McDonald's hamburgers and fries for lunch everyday.

This type of health care practice is INSANE! Look, all the "risk factors" tell you is whether you might have heart disease. Regardless of risk factors and "probabilities" the answer is maybe "yes" and maybe "no." There are plenty of people like me with low "risk factors" that still have heart disease and others whose risks are high yet never develop heart disease. A heart scan will tell you with damn near 100% certainty whether you do or do not.

It amazes me that so-called health care professionals still engage in such "hocus pocus" (perhaps for profit, maybe). Remember, I am still a numbers guy. Risk factors are a wonderful tool when you do not have the means to determine an outcome with any certainty. BUT, THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE WHEN IT COMES TO HEART DISEASE. Stop the insanity. Get a heart scan and learn the truth. Gee whiz! This ain't rocket science!




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