March 12, 2013
By Marilyn Martinucci, CEO and President of Heartscan Services
Heart disease and Stroke are preventable diseases yet, each year close to 1.4 million people in the US experience a heart attack. More than 2,500 Americans die from heart disease each day and every 20 seconds, a person in the US has a heart attack. In addition, every 40 seconds someone in the US has a stroke.
Heart disease is the #1 killer and stroke is #3 in the US and 25% of all Americans have one or more types of cardiovascular disease. For 50% -70% of Americans, the very first symptom of heart disease will be either sudden death or a full heart attack or stroke. Tragically, very few people without symptoms are ever advised to have a screening test and therefore hundreds of thousands of men and women unknowingly remain a ticking time bomb waiting for a sudden heart attack to strike.”
Heart attack and stroke prevention efforts have not been successful to date. Relying on risk factors to predict heart attacks such as family history, high blood pressure, obesity, EKG and even cholesterol, is not enough. Heart attacks and strokes can be substantially curtailed in the 21st century if the medical community, industry, academia, insurance companies and health care policy makers shifts its investment from treatment of the event after its occurred to “preventing of the event” before it occurs. Preventative screenings can detect many abnormalities and bring awareness to those who need to make changes in their lifestyle.
Screening and education about prevention and wellness is very important in the workplace. Primary prevention of illness and disease is much less costly than treatment. Many of the diseases that lead to high absenteeism and inability to perform at optimum levels are related to risks that have been undetected. A healthier workforce is a more productive workforce. According to an April 2012 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the indirect costs associated with preventable chronic diseases, costs related to worker productivity as well as the resulting fiscal drag on the nation’s economic output may exceed $1 trillion per year. A 2007 study from the Milken Institute found that when unhealthy workers show up on the job the effects of their lower productivity on the nation’s economic health are immense: in dollar value, several times greater than the business losses accrued when employees take actual sick days. No matter how you look at it, preventative screenings and wellness programs save lives and money!
Heartscan Services primary goal is to educate labor groups and organizations about wellness through preventative screening.