Archive for November, 2022

Are You One of the 7% of Healthy Americans?

November 19, 2022

Andrew Siegel MD   11/19/2022

A July 2022 Journal of the American College of Cardiology article entitled “Trends and Disparities in Cardiometabolic Health Among U.S. Adults, 1999-2018” written by Meghan O’Hearn, a doctoral candidate at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, is the basis for today’s entry.

This twenty-year longitudinal study involved over 50,000 people and determined that in cardio-metabolic terms, fewer than 7% of Americans are healthy.  Cardio-metabolic health was based upon the following five parameters: body weight, blood pressure, serum glucose, lipid profile, and presence or absence of cardiac disease. (This study did not specifically include the following lifestyle factors that are also vital to optimal health: tobacco use, quality and quantity of sleep, and exercise, but these factors are certainly reflected in the aforementioned five parameters.)

The sad conclusion of the study was that more than 93% of Americans are unfit in cardiometabolic terms and therefore at increased risk for chronic illnesses including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

“While we know that cardio-metabolic health among Americans is a significant problem, we were surprised by the magnitude of the crisis. The lack of good health and well-being across the board is truly devastating and has only been getting worse.”

Among the components of cardio-metabolic health, the parameters that worsened the most over the 20-year course of the study were body weight and glucose levels. The percentage of adults with good cardio-metabolic health declined among the Hispanic and African American populations, while showing a modest improvement among Caucasians.  Poor cardio-metabolic health was found to be inversely proportional to education level.

“Social determinants of health, such as food and nutrition security, social and community context, economic stability and structural racism may put individuals of different education levels, races and ethnicities at an increased risk of health issues.”

The article concluded that we have critical public health issues in the USA that require addressing and that there is too much emphasis on treatment rather than prevention of disease.  More aggressive public health measures need to be taken regarding food and nutrition, exercise, and health maintenance.

“If we don’t address this dire and worsening cardio-metabolic health crisis, we will see increased disease burden, increased health care spending, and greater disparities across the U.S. population.”

Clearly, as much as cardio-metabolic health is a public health issue, individuals need to take personal responsibility in terms of their body weight, diet, level of physical activity, and avoidance of toxic and unhealthy habits. 

Wishing you the best of health,

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Dr. Andrew Siegel is a physician and urological surgeon who is board-certified in urology as well as in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.  He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School and is a Castle Connolly Top Doctor New York Metro AreaInside Jersey Top Doctor and Inside Jersey Top Doctor for Women’s Health. His mission is to “bridge the gap” between the public and the medical community. He is a urologist at New Jersey Urology, one of the largest urology practices in the United States.  He is the co-founder of PelvicRx and Private Gym.  His latest book is Prostate Cancer 20/20: A Practical Guide to Understanding Management Options for Patients and Their Families. 

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Video trailer for Prostate Cancer 20/20

Preview of Prostate Cancer 20/20

Andrew Siegel MD Amazon author page

PROSTATE CANCER 20/20 is now available at Audible, iTunes and Amazon as an audiobook read by the author (just over 6 hours). 

Dr. Siegel’s other books:

THE KEGEL FIX: Recharging Female Pelvic, Sexual, and Urinary Health


MALE PELVIC FITNESS: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health

PROMISCUOUS EATING— Understanding and Ending Our Self-Destructive Relationship with Food