Re: How to Build a Stronger Heart

Letters to the Editor
Published: October, 2007

As always, you have published another excellent issue of Lens with the picture on the cover and its title, “How to Build a Stronger Heart.”

Prior to opening it, I thought that the issue would cover the non-technical, non-pharmaceutical means of achieving heart-health. On pages 25-27 of your excellent article, you seemed to be getting close, but you never quite made it. Vanderbilt remains a high tech place and will mostly likely remain so.

I would like to make a slight criticism of the box entitled, “The importance of knowing your numbers” (page 27). You missed a real opportunity to educate your readers.

Although I am sure that they are well educated scientists, far and away the majority of physicians with whom I have discussed their own “numbers” don’t know which numbers to measure. Dr. Potts was quoted, “Know your numbers—blood pressure, cholesterol level, weight and blood glucose.” More specifically, he should have said, “Blood pressure, waist circumference, triglyceride/HDL ratio and HgbA1C.”

Patients understand with a little explanation. And, the more information we can give them, the better they will do.

Alumnus, Vanderbilt University
(B.A., 1955; M.D., 1959)
Clinical Assistant Professor of Preventive
Medicine, University of Tennessee
School of Medicine
Medical Director, Alpha Maxx Healthcare, Inc.