Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Health Crisis, Actually A Lifestle Crisis, Local Voices, North Zone, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011 -

Driving back home recently at 3 a.m. after performing a lifesaving heart procedure on a morbidly obese 45-year-old man who was having a massive heart attack, I was reminded of the harsh reality of America's health care crisis. Not only was the patient a heavy smoker, but he also had high blood pressure and diabetes, and hadn't been to a doctor in several years.

If only this young man didn't smoke, exercised and had his blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol monitored as part of a regular medical checkup, he may not have required emergency medical care at such a young age.

In a recent discussion with another patient regarding his discharge medications after a heart attack, he volunteered, "Well, I'm going to have to modify my budget." When asked what he meant, he continued with a wry smile, "I'm going to have to shift my spending money from cigarettes to statins and Plavix."

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