- the high-tech imaging technology of your heart coupled with
- the blood work
have reached the staggering conclusion –
“You are at risk of heart disease”
Your doctor, is not a betting man, so he is not prepared to wager a bet on the odds of you succumbing, nor give you a date and time.
The huge medical bill, which in itself could hasten your demise, by sending your blood pressure into the stratosphere, has left you no better off than before. HELLO, you already knew you were AT RISK – your old man died of a heart attack, it is in your genes.
The missing link
Since heart disease is the leading killer in industrialized nations – being able to predict who will drop and who will not, is imperative.
The current state of play – based on blood tests and imaging, is putting huge numbers of people in the “heart disease” net. The net is not all that specific, it ends up catching a lot of “healthy” people, labelling then as “sick”, and then wasting resources on unnecessary care. The “care” often does more harm, than good.
Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Centre believe they have discovered a “test” that trumps blood pressure and cholesterol levels, in its ability to predict heart attacks and strokes. Ironically, you don’t need to visit the GP, to get this test and it’s absolutely FREE.
Just run a mile
The ultimate test requires you to lace up your running shoes and line up to run a mile. Hit the timer button when you start and as you cross the line in your big race, stop the clock.
How long you take to run a mile in middle age, predicts your risk of dying of a heart attack or stroke decades later. This test works for both men and women. AND FAMILIES ?
Mile test times
The researchers demonstrated the power of this simple test, by crunching the numbers on information gathered on a very large group of “ordinary people”.
They kept tabs on 66 000 people who had at one time or another, run a mile on a treadmill. At the time of the BIG run, the people were disease free and ranged in age from 20 to 90 years.
Keeping tabs on 66 000 people is a challenge, even in this day and age of computers, so the only information that was recorded, was when they died and what they died of. In the time period, which in some cases lasted 36 years, 1621 people died of cardiovascular disease.
The validity of the mile time test
Amazingly, this simple test has serious statistical power. The team concluded…
- a 55-year-old man, who needs 15 minutes to run a mile i.e. a snail could beat him, has a 30 percent lifetime risk of developing heart disease.
- a 55-year-old who can run a mile in eight minutes, has a lifetime risk of less than 10 percent.
Higher fitness levels, lowered the lifetime risk of heart disease, even in people with a multitude of other known risk factors such as age, diabetes, total cholesterol and smoking habits.
Run Forest Run
We’re always told to know our numbers – the numbers attracting the most attention are blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting glucose levels. I don’t want to undermine the value of these numbers – aberrant values are a sign of BAD BODY CHEMISTRY.
But your fitness level, may be the number with the BIGGEST VALUE, it’s measuring function, not form. A body that is functioning well, must have better body chemistry. The real power of this number is in it’s simplicity and accessibility. All you need is a little time, a little space and your cellphone timer, to get it.
And you don’t need expensive drugs to fix it. Fixing it just requires you to get off your butt and move a bit – go walkies. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete or run a marathon – just move a little more.
NOTE : The more you move, the easy it will get – Mother Nature rewards moving with happy chemicals, it probably also helps if you start young.Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Classification of Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. Circulation, 2011; 123 (13): 1377. S. Gupta, A. Rohatgi, C. R. Ayers, B. L. Willis, W. L. Haskell, A. Khera, M. H. Drazner, J. A. de Lemos, J. D. Berry.
Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind the dreaded diseases ?
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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below