AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. October 2010, Volume 12, Number 10.

Ethics Poll

The Number One Killer of Adults in the U.S.

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

Which of the following do you think contributes most to heart and cardiovascular disease?
Lifestyle (e.g., diet, lack of exercise, smoking).
Genetic make-up.
Lifestyle and genetic make-up in equal parts.
Other contributors (e.g., acquired, non-lifestyle-related conditions).
Don't know.

With a host of drugs and surgical procedures, medical science can now either prevent or diagnose, manage, repair, or replace just about anything that goes wrong with the heart and cardiovascular system. Still heart disease remains the number one killer of U.S. adults. Check the two factors that you think are most responsible for this statistic.
American preference for shorter pleasure-filled lives over longer lives with dietary restrictions and exercise regimens.
Prohibitive cost of adequate health care.
Inadequate education; people don't know how to protect their health and prevent illness.
Sedentary lifestyle.
Inadequate screening and undiscovered disease and malfunction.
Drug company interest in treating illness, not preventing it.
Absence of government regulation to enforce better lifestyle.
Overtreatment; too many procedures and medications lead to treating of symptoms rather than illness, more hospitalizations, complications, and death.
Shortage of hearts for transplantation.
Basic wear and tear on the heart and cardiovascular system.

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Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of our readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.