February is Heart Month

woman jogging at sunrise

Dear Readers,
Tomorrow, February 1, marks the start of yet another Heart Month. For some reason, heart disease and stroke don’t seem to invoke the same attention and concern as other far less common and threatening disorders. Perhaps it is its dramatically high prevalence that is the culprit, desensitizing us to the gargantuan toll cardiovascular disease (CVD) takes on Americans of all ages. Whatever the reason, we must wake up and attack the underlying causes of CVD head on. Now possessing effective preventive and therapeutic strategies to drop CVD from its long held spot as the top-killer in our Western World, we must band together in an effort to educate health care practitioners and laypeople alike and concomitantly implement such stratagems. For my part, I have decided to focus attention on Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) a common and typically unrecognized genetic cholesterol disorder that kills young men, women, and even children in the prime of their life.

Here are some sobering statistics about FH: one in about 300 Americans has it; yet less than 1% have been diagnosed. 20% of all heart attacks in people under the age of 45 are a consequence of FH. 5% of all heart attacks in people under the age of 60 are from FH. FH increases the risk of CVD 20 fold. Most important of all, when FH is diagnosed and treated early in life, patients can live normal life spans. That is correct – they can live out their lives freely without fear of dying young and without the even more terrible fear that their children will die young. The problem of course lies in the fact that most healthcare practitioners and laypeople remain unaware of the disorder. Being unaware renders us impotent, incapable of rendering appropriate preventive therapies. It is only through the elevation of awareness that we will lower the threat of FH. My plea to you therefore is to help spread the word. You can easily let people know about FH through the FH Foundation, http://thefhfoundation.org  A grassroots effort is required here. Please participate. When I say the life you may be saving could be your own or that of someone you love, I am not being melodramatic. During many of my talks on FH, members of the audience (even healthcare practitioners) have discovered that they carry the genetic disease. Spread the word and see for yourself. Thank you in advance for your support.

Learn more about preventive cardiology at www.preventivecardiologyinc.com.

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