Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Exactly what 54yo E@L didn't need to read after 5 weeks of dieting (down 6 kgs) and massively increased exercise regime. From nothing to 1:30hr in the gym four times a week and 1hr+ walking in the off days and 30mins swimming when the sun is shining and he is working from home. Long term benefits, according to this article - fuck all.


Cardiac Risk: Late repentance is useless

Whoever cuts their cardiac risk factors often believes that they are then on the safe side. Yet this sense of safety is a deception for the middle-aged: according to U.S. authors, five-or ten-year cardiac risk may then be reduced, but over a lifetime period it isn't.

Excess body weight, lack of exercise, stress, smoking and more – in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, each risk factor that can be eliminated counts. As long as physical changes and damage are not as yet detectable, nothing has as yet happened – a process of rethinking and behavioral changes made towards a healthy lifestyle are the best guarantee of longevity.

This is wrong: such is the opinion of cardiologists working under Jarret Barry of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, because the current approach in the prevention of heart problems is to identify only the short-term cardiac risk. Only a few studies, such as one investigation done in 2006 with participants in the Framingham study, shed some light on the long term risk. Early life decisions might have a major impact on the rest of one's life and this rule would not apply any differently to the heart. Risk factors for the young and middle aged have an impact on one's total lifetime, says one analysis of studies from the scientists published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Each risk factor counts

Data based on the analysis of the lifetime risks for the heart has been collected from 18 cohort studies making up the Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project. The data is part of a 50-year-long investigation. Risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and smoking were recorded for more than 250,000 people – men and women – at 45, 55, 65 and 75 years of age as well as cardiovascular disease status. For each age category, the risk of cardiovascular events was determined.

An optimal risk profile was defined as having cholesterol at <180 mg/dl, blood pressure lower than120/80 mmHg, non-smoking status, and no diabetes. For this optimal risk profile at the age of 55 years, the lifetime risk (up to age 80 years) of dying due to cardiovascular disease, with figures being 4.7 percent for men and 6.4 percent for women, is low. With two or more risk factors present, the risk of death due to vascular disease increases to 29.6 percent in men and 20.5 percent for women. Coronary heart disease or nonfatal heart attack is suffered by 3.6 percent of men and less than one percent of women, when they have no risk factors. For those with two or more risk factors, those figures are 37.5 percent for men and 18.3 percent for women.

Who has no risk factor?

Even more dramatic is the comparison of the risks for 45-year-olds. A man of that age not having risk factors only carries a risk of 1.4 percent of dying up to the age of 80 years from cardiovascular disease. With two or more risk factors, the risk increased to 50 percent. For women, the difference is 4.1 versus 31 percent.

Taking into consideration – as is done in most studies – only the five-or ten-year risks, where the risks for 50-year-old risk factor-carriers then become rather small, is something the study's authors have criticised. In addition, only a slight increase in risk factors – such as slightly elevated cholesterol levels or blood pressure – can increase the risk significantly. Most study participants presented at least one risk factor.

With regard to the prevention of cardiovascular events, the results show that only the avoidance of risk factors in young and middle age was able to considerably reduce cardiovascular disease. When discovered and treated only in middle age, risks can only be slightly reduced and disease only slowed down in progression. [My emphasis]

Dr. Julia Hofmann
Medical Journalist



Start slim and healthy, stay slim and healthy, and one day you'll be a slim and healthy person with Altzeimers is the lesson here.

This why you don't see a really old fat people. They've had a brilliant life, spared themselves nothing, and got out before the rot set in. Maybe not so much good sex, unless they flash the Charisma card and stock up on the Viagra (headache!) and Cialis, and hence they are a valid target demographic for up-country Thai girls.


[Precis of the original article available on-line at NEJM.


savannah said...

fuck the article, sugar! do you feel better RIGHT NOW??? that's what's important - enjoy NOW. to my mind everything else is gravy! xooxoxoxoxo

expat@large said...

Sav: Having dipped my toe in some medical research - my thesis was to debunk about 10 articles written by prominent obstetricians! - I know how far to trust many of them. NEJM is one of the reliable sources however.

The article talks about survival to 80. Big deal, I be crowing if I reaching 70 and that's enough. I might have finished my novel by then. (Have you seen Limitless?)

But other articles talk about survival by ten years, etc. While I am overweight, all my other risk factors are under control. :)

However my paternal family's cardiac history is extremely toxic. :(

marke said...

Herein lies hope!

"Endocannabinoids are compounds naturally produced in our bodies that activate cannabinoid receptors." :-)

expat@large said...

Being a lazy, svelte glutton! Finally! Something to live for!

Thanks Marke. Saw this a few months ago somewhere else. On TED???

Was thinking further about this live for ever attitude in the gym today (followed by a brilliant wagyu bangers and garlic-mash dinner).

Truth is I am not trying to lose weight get fit so that I can make it to 80. I am doing so that I can enjoy my skiing a whole lot more next year. Question is, can I make it till then?

Dick Headley said...

Read Houellebecq's new one. 'The Map and the Territory' It will cheer you up. He almost seems to be enjoying life.....or at least coming to terms with the pointlessness. I'd write a review but I can't be bothered.

expat@large said...

Yes, grabbed a copy as soon as it hit the shelves here in Singers. I made a small note or two about it somewhere, saying just that. My FB bookclub, Anobii or Goodreads. Laugh a minute, well every half hour or so. One day some gorgeous Russian bird is going to discover our blogs, fuck our brains out and then make us rich. Well me anyway, you're already rich, I'm merely comfortable.

Skippy-san said...

Sounds like its time to start drinking! After all its 2012-and we will all be gone after December 21st.........

Unknown said...

Phil, race you to the finish line! With my dodgy heart even 70 is looking a bridge too far.
I saw a news article many years ago. The gist of it was that if you spent a certain number of hours a day exercising, I think it was 30 in their example, your life will be extended by a certain time, it was 3 and a bit years from memory. Which just about equalled the amount of time that you spent exercising.

I exercise so that I am fit enough to enjoy the moment, not to try and extend the number of moments.

rambeaux said...

Sounds to me like the argument is more about experimental design than it is about heart disease... They are arguing about the definition of the outcome variable: death in 5 years, 10 years, or ever. A bit of a 'my outcome period is bigger than yours' contest. Pffft! Keep exercising, and tell your modellers to use an 'expected time to death' modeling approach. That'll be more meaningful to everyone.

expat@large said...

Yeah Rambeaux, that's how I read it too. Im not giving up.

As John Farmyard Keynes once said, "In the long run, we'll all be dead."

And as they kept asking in Starship Troopers, "Do you want to live forever?"

No, but I want to ski better next year.

And, hey, since when have the spare time to read my blog? Get back to the footy-tipping!

knobby said...

dude. please don't be fatalistic. I'm being selfish and fuck the rest. I want you in my life for long-long time!

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