Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Life Style Changes Do Make a Difference
Just in case you were wondering if it's worth putting down the dessert and picking up the tennis shoes, here's some evidence that will hopefully motivate you to make healthier life style choices.
The data in J. A. Iestra's recent study, "Effect Size Estimates of Lifestyle and Dietary Changes on All Cause Mortality in Coronary Artery Disease Patients," shows notable reductions in coronary artery disease -- and mortality -- when patients make these changes:
Diet change: 40-45%
Smoking cessation: 35-50%
ACE inhibitors (for blood pressure): 26%
More physical activity: 20-30%
Beta blockers (for blood pressure): 23%
Statins (for cholesterol): 21%
Moderate alcohol: 14-20%
The reduction in mortality from coronary artery disease is the same if not better with lifestyle or dietary changes as it is with medications. Other things to consider (but not analyzed in this study) are that lifestyle changes, such as more physical activity, don't produce bad side effects -- well, maybe a little sweat, but all medications may have some side effects. And certainly the cost of exercise vs. medication is lower too. So whether you're a Googler or not, let's all be visionaries not just about our work, but about our own bodies and souls.