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Fixin' Healthcare

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Lifestyle Chronicles - Healthy Lifestyle 1, High Technology 0

Tom Kottke has selected an example of preventive health care and presented it in a manner that might bring understanding to people. The study is published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. A computer-simulated community of 100,000 people resembling the population of Olmsted County, Minnesotta in the year 2000 was used to compare automated external defibrillators in homes and public places, implanted defibrillators and ingestation of omega-3 fatty acids for prevention of sudden deaths.

The automated external defibrillators reduced death rates by 0.8% (7 lives saved per year), the implanted defibrillators reduced death rates by 3.3% (30 lives saved per year) and raising the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids reduced death rates by 6.4% (58 lives saved per year). Three-quarters of the reduction in deaths from increased omega-3 fatty acids would come from raising levels among the healthy portion of the population.

The simulated population could raise their omega-3 fatty acid levels with daily supplements costing $5.8 million a year but they could accomplish the same result by eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Also, eating the fish would be a source of lean protein and contribute to control of appetite. The benefits just keep going from there.

The highest use of technology that anyone can perform on this world is to take a walk.

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