Monday, April 03, 2006

Computer Geek Day

As the lot of you know a computer geek posts to this blog articles and short posts written by the doctor. Once in a while I see an interesting article and ask for comments.

Here's a link to an article that tells us loneliness causes hypertension. So the computer geekquestion was:

Which is worse? To be lonely or to eat salty foods? Would I be healthier eatting a plate of salt laden chips with friends or would I be better off sitting home alone.

Sometimes asking the question is more fun than the reply:

These are all risk factors. For some, salt is a greater hazard. Yet for others, loneliness. Some handle loneliness very well. Some do not. It is true that people in solitary confinement in jail suffer from hypertension and heart disease. Some eat a lot of salt and still are OK (they have a system that can handle the salt and pass it out without staying in the circulation). You must not think of risk factors as 100% disease promoting in all people. It is just a risk factor. It puts us at risk especially if our system can't handle it. For example, high cholesterol is only present in 50% of people with heart attacks.

These risk factors sounds like a blind man standing on a railway track without knowledge of the train schedule. We all know its dangerous but only some people get run over. Yet we know what they say about train's horrible but we all watch with a horrified fascination.

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