Does Wealth Protect Health?
Most of us in the developed world have a skewed and incorrect view of life as it applies to health. We often read that socioeconomic status influences three things:
- Our level of health
- Our level of disease risk
- Our longevity
Yes, it’s true that those with lower socioeconomic status, in general, don’t live as long as the wealthy. After all, wealthy people have more options in seeking healthy foods and a cleaner environment. They have the ability to carve out more leisure time for healthy activities and generally have better access to the best health care. Yet there is much more to the story. We repeatedly read news stories of famous and/or wealthy people who die prematurely. And I’m not referring to entertainers dying of drug overdoses. I’m talking about intelligent, successful, wealthy people who succumb prematurely to a catastrophic degenerative disease that is either preventable or reversible. Here are just a few true stories since 2004, many of whom will be familiar to you.
- Jim Cantalupo, CEO of McDonald’s, died of a fatal heart attack sustained at the McDonald’s annual convention in 2004 at the tender age of 60.
- Charlie Bell, the charismatic successor of Mr. Cantalupo, took over as CEO of McDonald’s after Cantalupo’s death. A young CEO indeed, Charlie was 33. He lasted only a year at the helm of McDonald’s, not because the board fired him, but because he passed away from colon cancer at age 34.
- Remember Brenda Barnes, CEO of Sarah Lee Corporation? A picture of health and beauty, Ms. Barnes suffered a catastrophic stroke at age 56, a personal catastrophe and a financial one as well. On that day, Sara Lee’s market cap dropped by 536 million dollars. Sadly, Ms. Barnes passed away January 18, 2017 at the age of 63.
- Reginald Lewis, CEO of a privately held international food company: TLC Beatrice, Int’l. He passed from cancer at age 50. He was succeeded by his brother-in-law, who mismanaged the company so badly that after three years, Mrs. Lewis took over and sold the assets to their competitors.
- Was anyone more successful than Steve Jobs? Yet at age 48 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Did anyone have better access to top health care? He was rumored, at least, to have skipped up the ladder on the waiting list for a liver transplant. Despite this heroic measure, he died of his disease at age 56.
- Another premature victim of cancer was James Young, CEO of Union Pacific Railroad. Mr. Young vacated his post at age 59 and died shortly thereafter.
- And who was better known than James Gandolfini, star of the hit TV series, The Sopranos. While vacationing in Rome with his teenage son, Mr. Gandolfini dropped dead of a heart attack in his hotel room at age 51. He was to receive an acting award the following day.
- While discussing show business, you may have read about the recent (2016) death of Mr. Gary Glasberg, Showrunner of NCIS in its 14th season and creator of NCIS New Orleans. While the cause of death was not released, Mr. Glasberg died in his sleep. This is usually the result of an acute heart attack. Mr. Glasberg was 50.
What did these eight people have in common besides a premature death? They all were wealthy, educated and had first class access to the best health care. And what they may have had in common?... not being proactive about their health. With the technology we have today, age-related diseases: cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and osteoporosis are much less related to bad luck than they are to bad management.
Scientists have long had a good understanding of how we develop these diseases on a chemical level. And each year that understanding expands. With the understanding of that chemistry comes the inevitable maneuvers to interfere with the disease development. When we know what causes a disease, we soon learn what can interfere with the process and how to engineer that interference.
The underlying processes themselves (chemistry) are invisible to us because there are no symptoms until the disease reaches an advanced stage. As a result, the vast majority of us will pour enormously more resources into life issues that are visible – our career, the next new car, the room addition on the house, the next vacation or wedding. And I agree these are all terrifically important. Yet when the heart attack, stroke, cancer or dementia arrives without warning it’s a dire emergency. IF we survive the initial event we engage in a full court press to save our lives within our heroic health care system using drugs, surgery or radiation. All those visible life issues that were so important become relatively superfluous.
With the technology we have today, age-related diseases are much less related to bad luck than they are to bad management.
The Simple Solution
With the technology handed to us by brilliant and dedicated scientists from around the world publishing studies every day, we can detect the presence of the underlying process for most of these diseases. And for others, we have studies demonstrating how we can reduce the risk of contracting the disease. Much is known about the chemistry that initiates cancer and promotes its growth and spread. The same is true to a great extent regarding Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Why not employ simple lifestyle maneuvers to reduce those risks?
We now have the technology to measure the process underlying heart attack and stroke to assess our risk. More importantly, we have the technology to literally reverse the disease process decades prior to the time the disease would strike. The relationship is very similar for obesity, type II diabetes and osteoporosis. Yet these are among the leading causes of both overall and premature death. How absurd!
And what’s even more profound is that the same maneuvers that we employ to reduce disease risk also substantially enhance our vitality, energy and quality of life. Please don’t expect your family physician to engineer this type of health care for you. He or she is far too busy caring for people who are already sick. This type of proactive evaluation and management requires a dedicated focus on published medical studies about aging and how the age-related diseases develop - and what we can do about the two. The human body is nothing more than a very organized chemistry set. And everything we do day in and day out effects our chemistry. It’s all about knowing how to promote the chemistry that slows aging and avoid the chemistry that accelerates it. This is what we at the Leonardi Institute have been laser-focused on since 1997. We’d like nothing better than to introduce you to our specialty with a comprehensive evaluation of your state of health and risk of future disease. And we don’t measure anything we can’t fix.
Simply call us to schedule a MEDSTART (MEDical STatus And Risk Targeting). Make a very small investment to learn about your health status and disease risk going forward. Let us help you achieve your personal health goals. No one has ever been sorry that they undertook this evaluation.
Still not convinced?
If you’d like to explore the concept of your MEDSTART in a complimentary 30-minute conversation with one of our practitioners, feel free to schedule this no cost, no obligation consultation by phone or in person. This is not to diagnose or treat a problem but to help you ascertain if the Leonardi Institute is a good fit for you regarding your health goals.
Call us now at (303) 462-5344 or Toll Free at (888) 772-1388, or email us at Info@LeonardiInstitute.com.