Tuesday, 12 February 2013 01:08
Life. Seriously, what would we do without it?
From the moment it begins to the moment it stops, life itself is supported by one of the most fascinating structures in the human body, the heart.
Based on an average lifespan of 75 years and an average heartbeat of 72 beats per minute, the average heart, that big muscle in the middle of the chest, beats around 2,838,240,000 without ever taking a rest. Tirelessly pumping the energy we need to sustain life.
What an amazing organ!
That is why the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States shakes me to the core as a practitioner. Why is this the case?
After all, we are one of the most scientifically advanced, educated and economically savvy countries in the world. We have Rhodes scholars and Noble Prize winning scientists and researchers conducting studies and drafting pieces of literature about health, disease, medicine, you name it.
But we continue to have a staggering number of individuals affected by a diseased heart. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention) in 2008, 631,636 people died of heart disease - that is 26% of all deaths; more than one in every four. Every year about 785,000 Americans have a first heart attack. Another 470,000 who have already had one or more heart attacks, have another.
This isn't just a tragedy of life and loss, this burden we bear as a nation also carries an extremely steep financial price. It is predicted that for 2010, heart disease will have cost the United States $316.4 billion. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications and lost productivity.
Being a Naturopathic Doctor, I am fueled to think about troubling situations like this in a very comprehensive manner.