Monday, June 29, 2009

Celebrities - Heart Disease

I certainly don't spend much of my time thinking about celebrities and they are rarely the subject of my medical reports on, but over the past week we have seen our fair share of celebrity tragedies. The cases of Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon certainly gained attention, but more for the memories of their overall work and life achievements.

But, the recent deaths of Michael Jackson and Billy Mays reminded us all of just how precarious our day to day health can be. In particular, the deaths make us focus on heart disease. I have been asked by several patients. "how can you predict if this will happen to someone." The truth is that you can't make predictions. You can only control risk factors like weight, cigarette smoking, cholesterol and other blood lipid levels etc. My advice is to not focus on these cases. There are hundreds of similar deaths every day, but there are millions of people who do well and can avoid a similar fate.
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