Being in your 30s = cardiovascular problems?

It’s alarming to think that by thirties people might have some kind of cardiovascular problem due to stress or eating habits: “Given our Western diets, people are probably just starting to form atherosclerotic plaques in their thirties…” (Sapolosky, p. 54).  As young college students in our 20s, we must take this very seriously and realize that what we are eating now and how we are responding to life’s changes will affect us in our later years.  The question is: are we willing to change our eating habits and physical activity in order to have a healthier body for the rest of our lives?  Or do we rather keep eating fast foods and not getting exercise at the expense of our health, which will lead us to visiting the doctor more often and in general be unsatisfied with our earlier life choices?

“Mysterious cases still occur, however, of seemingly healthy thirty-year-olds, victims of sudden cardiac death, who show little evidence of atherosclerosis on autopsy” (Sapolosky, p. 50).  This brought the memory of a family friend who died about two years ago from a heart attack in his mid-thirties.  I was so shocked to hear about this because even though he was a bit overweight, he was generally a calm person who was always smiling and laid back.

It’s interesting to read that when the ovaries of a high-ranking female were removed “she was no longer protected from atherosclerosis” (Sapolosky, p. 53).  For us women, due to the stressors of working outside the home and maintaining a stable family (if kids are part of it) among others, our estrogen levels are being affected which in turn affect our atherosclerotic plaque leading to cardiovascular problems.  “Stress causes a decline in estrogen levels…The laboratory studies suggest that estrogen protects against the formation of atherosclerosis, rather than reverses atherosclerosis that is already there” (Sapolosky, pp. 53-54).  So, as women we need to focus on lowering our stress levels and how we perceive the stressors of life’s changes in order to protect ourselves and live healthier and more happy/satisfied lives.

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1 Response to “Being in your 30s = cardiovascular problems?”


  1. 1 whitneyroberts March 2, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Laura,

    You brought my attention to something very serious and real: The question is: are we willing to change our eating habits and physical activity in order to have a healthier body for the rest of our lives?

    The body is an phenomenal being with an amazing memory. What we eat, drink, and DO now can affect us in the future.

    This lead me to remember a story that my boyfriend head from his boss. A man had experimented with acid ONCE in his life during his college years. Later down in his life as he was driving himself, his wife, and his children, he suffered from a seizure and the car crashed killing them all. When the autopsy was done, apparently the seizure was traced back to the acid he had experimented with so many years ago.

    As I said before, the body has a memory like no other. What we do now can affect us in the long run and it is so important for us to know this and keep this in mind.


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