House Call: Don’t become another health trend statistic
Here are a few sobering facts you should know about America’s health trends. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of adult Americans are obese (34.9 percent) and the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008. Obesity-related conditions, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, are the leading causes of preventable death.
What about heart disease, our number one killer of Americans? Here are the facts: 600,000 Americans die each year of heart disease. That is one in every four deaths. Every year, 720,000 Americans have a heart attack and for over 500,000, it is their first one. Coronary heart disease costs us $108.9 billion each year.
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. and this year, 1,600 people a day – or about 585,720 this year – are expected to die from some form of cancer. The cost is over $200 billion annually.
Why should we be concerned about these numbers? Because unless we take drastic measures to change how we live, what we eat and practice health-conscious habits, we will be in a hole so deep we will not be able to crawl out as individuals, as a community and a nation.
There is still time, but we must be willing to step up individually and make those changes by eating healthy whole foods, removing added sugar from our diet, kicking processed and junk foods to the curb and exercising most days of the week.
Are you worried that there might be something wrong now? Well, there is a wonderful opportunity for fast, inexpensive, medical testing from 7 to 11 a.m. this Saturday, April 12, at the annual 9Health Fair at Grand River Hospital in Rifle. Take the once-a-year opportunity to get your baseline labs drawn, take them to your doctor and develop your strategy to not become a statistic.
Dr. Laurie Marbas is a family physician at Grand River Hospital and Medical Center in Rifle.
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Battlement Mesa resident Sara Musson is wheelchair-bound. But that didn’t stop her from joining what turned out to be one of the first tours through the new Grand River Health patient wing.