Facts and Ideas from Anywhere (Atherosclerosis: Its Clause and Is Prevention) (Human Accomplishments and Gifted Minds) (Global Warming) (Editorial)
ATHEROSCLEROSIS: ITS CAUSE AND ITS PREVENTION * I recently spoke at a university hospital and began the presentation by asking the audience to name the atherosclerotic risk factors. Various members of the audience spoke up, and the following was the order in which the risk factors were announced. I wrote them on the flip chart (easel) I used for the presentation: 1) family history, 2) diabetes mellitus, 3) cigarette smoking, 4) high blood pressure, 5) inactivity, 6) overweight, 7) aging, 8) malism, and 9) increased serum cholesterol. I then asked if atherosclerosis was a multifactorial disease or a unifactorial one. The answer universally was multifactorial. I then went down the list of nine risk factors asking the same question of each, “Does this factor have to be present for atherosclerosis to occur?” The answer for each was “No” except for the last one, namely, hypercholesterolemia. But if that is the case, why was abnormal cholesterol not mentioned as #1 rather than #9? I have experienced the same scenario on many occasions. I believe a strong case can be made for there being a single absolute atherosclerotic risk factor and that atherosclerosis does not occur when that factor is missing. Of course, all of these factors are determined by how they are defined; therefore, the definitions of each are crucial.