Heart Disease Should Be Predicted Like Hurricanes
Advancements in Cardiology are taking place every day, with some in the works right now by the Society for Heart Attack Prevention & Eradication (SHAPE). SHAPE doctors are making an interesting comparison between the way hurricanes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are predicted. They say that if hurricanes Harvey and Irma were predicted the same way as CVD, by measuring risk factors 10 years prior, there would have been no preventive action.
Think about it. If the forecast said there was a 7% chance of a hurricane in 10 years, who would start boarding up windows and buying supplies? Likely no one. In the same way, preventive action for heart disease is unlikely to take place 10 years prior to what seems like a very small chance of being diagnosed. Yes, heart disease prevention should take place much sooner, but it doesn’t very often.That’s why short-term CVD indicators are vital to our vitals.
Heart Disease Forecast
According to SHAPE doctors, there is a void in need of filling when it comes to short-term predictors of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. For the last several decades, healthcare professionals have been taught to assess risk factors of cardiovascular disease based on a 10-year “forecast.” This is a problem because, generally, “long term predictions do not trigger immediate preventive actions.”
Although we at Marula Medical are firm believers in early prevention, we do agree that both long-term and short-term bases should be covered. Thankfully, SHAPE and collaborators are taking action to create such a short-term predictor that will provide a 6- to 12-month “forecast.” We look forward to seeing how their research and innovative approaches eventually benefit those with heart disease in the future.
Early CVD Prevention Still Crucial
It’s true that a new predictor indicating heart disease short-term would help individuals take specific preventative action before the heart-hurricane hits. All that being said, there should still be urgency in early heart disease prevention. After all, hurricanes are devastating, and so is heart disease. If we can start preparing and preventing now, we should.