Sunday, February 28, 2010

Heart Attacks and Healthcare reform- What truly causes them and can we prevent either??

February 28, 2010

Institute For Medical Wellness Healthy Living Report

Heart Attacks and Healthcare reform- What truly causes them and can we prevent either??

This will be the first in a series about cardiovascular disease testing.

Today will focus on total cholesterol measurements and what it really means.

When I first meet a patient, I generally spend a good deal of time reviewing their medical history. This generally accounts for about 20 minutes of our first visit. And what makes the Institute For Medical Wellness distinct from other offices, is that it is I, Dr. Horvitz, that takes the history. I do not rely on paperwork, assistants, or prior records. It is extremely important to get to know each patient, and the initial medical history is the most important step in that process.

What I always find amusing about the initial history, is when I question about previous testing.

Can you guess what testing patient's almost always bring up first?

It is none other than one of my favorite topics, cholesterol!!!

I have had patient's come in to my office scared because they were told their cholesterol was over 200. I have had patient's smile proudly and announce that their cholesterol levels were under 200. I always ask why that is important, and the routine response is, "Well isn't cholesterol bad for me, and shouldn't I try to lower it?"

Many still believe that they need to lower their Total Cholesterol below 200 to reduce their risks of heart attacks, strokes, and other vascular disease. Now, what would you say if I told you that:

Of all people who suffer heart attacks, 50%, that means half, have Total Cholesterol levels above 200 !!!

Sounds pretty ominous ????

OK, then let me take it one step further, by asking what about the other 50% who suffer heart attacks?

Of all people who suffer heart attacks, 50%, that means half, have Total Cholesterol levels below 200 !!!

So how accurate is a Total Cholesterol level in calculating your risk for a heart attack?

It is as accurate as guessing heads or tails when flipping a coin !!!!

I will continue with cardiovascular disease testing in a future newsletter. I hope to show what truly predicts your future risk and what does not!!


Healthcare Reform Update:

The healthcare summit is over. For those of you who watched it, What did you think?

I'll tell you what I think, but first go back to my previous newsletter with my prediction about the summit. As of now, most of my predictions have come true. Everyone had their talking points, with the president, as usual, speaking the most. But he has that right, because, if I can quote him, "I am the President".

Unfortunately, the two political spectrums are diametrically and philosophically opposed to each other in respect to healthcare.

The democrats want government to exert more power and control over the system.
The republicans want the government to set up rules that would allow individuals and businesses greater leverage when purchasing health insurance and healthcare.

The democrats want a system where politicians and bureaucrats will have the ultimate decision making authority about what type of health insurance is available to you, which leads in the future to what type of treatments will be available.

The republicans want a system left open to the free market, with less political mandates from Washington and state governments. This would allow insurance companies to develop insurance plans that better meet the needs of its subscribers, and lowering the costs.

There is more but I prefer to sum it up this way.

The president wants a plan with heavy, heavy control of your healthcare choices residing in Washington. The president believes that government knows better what you need, and will make better choices for you, than if you could make them yourself. The president wants a healthcare plan where you need to rely on Washington and all of its politics.

The republicans do not want a big reform plan. They want small incremental changes that would allow the power of healthcare decision making to remain with individuals. They want reforms that promote true competition for your healthcare dollar, thereby lowering your costs and improving innovations in treatment. The republicans want a healthcare plan where you rely on yourself and your community, not on Washington politics!

Now to be fair, everything does not always work out exactly as feared or planned.

But it is "intentions", that affect our behavior and beliefs.

It is my view that the president's intentions are to set the stage for a future full government takeover of the healthcare system. It may not occur during his presidency, but he wants to start pushing the car without brakes down the hill towards a full government system. The problem I have, is that once the car starts moving downhill, it becomes very, very hard to stop!

If you did not watch the summit, or the follow-up media highlights, I urge you to watch the following video. Dr. Tom Coburn, a republican senator and physician, gave a republican address concerning the aftermath of the summit. It can be viewed here.

As a disclaimer. I do not like any politician or political group that puts themselves or their party ahead of the constituents they are meant to represent. That is why I am a registered as neither a republican or a democrat, but as an independent.

My views on healthcare has not changed. Please read a newsletter from two years ago, prior to today's healthcare debate.

If you are against the present reforms, click here to sign one of the many petitions seeking a total fresh restart of the reform debate.

No matter what your views on healthcare reform, speak up and contact your political representatives!!

To Good Health!

Steven Horvitz, D.O,
Board Certified Family Practice
Founder of The Institute For Medical Wellness
128 Borton Landing Road, Suite Two
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Phone 856-231-0590
Fax 856-294-0311

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