Why do people resist testing for arterial disease?

After experiencing our care, many ask me “why would anyone not get this done?  It is easy, affordable and gave me information I did not have from my current care.”

Why, indeed.  Here are some reasons that come to mind and reasons to Choose Prevention:

·       Most of us are more reactive than proactive by nature.  Steve Covey’s First of 7 Habits is “Be Proactive.”  That suggests to me that this is a problem for many of us.

·       Denial.  This is the first reaction most people have to bad news.  “I don’t want to know.”  Women now routinely get their annual mammogram.  It is expected.  It took years to create this expectation.  The same needs to happen with early detection and management of arterial disease.  It will save more lives than mammograms.

·       Defensiveness.  When we are told “there might be a better way” we tend to hear “you aren’t doing the ‘right’ thing.”  Ego can keep us from learning about and implementing new approaches, even if they are more effective and cost less.  Those who provide the status quo feel threatened by change, especially if it threatens their livelihood or makes their current investment obsolete.

·       Fear of the consequences.  This is a legitimate concern.  “I had a positive coronary calcium score.  I was feeling fine.  That led to a stress test, then a cath and the next think I know I had bypass surgery!”  This is the story we want to avoid.  Identify the disease you have, but manage it to reverse it.  Avoid the trauma of intervention, disability or death.  Choose prevention.

·       Faith in Rescue.  “If I have a heart attack or stroke, technology is so good I will be saved.”  Like skydiving, we think the parachute will save us.  But what if it doesn’t open because we let someone else pack our chute?  We all must take responsibility for our own health.  Don’t count on a rescue.  You may not live long enough to get to the hospital and it may not work.  If it works, it will be a great story, but it will change your life and cost outrageous sums of money that will be somebody’s burden.  

·       Inadequate information.  Many don’t know that arterial disease can improve.  It can improve with personalized understanding of its root causes, effective lifestyle and medical treatment and measurements that show results.

Don’t let these or any other reasons prevent you from knowing all you can know to be healthier.  The Center for Prevention can help you, but first you have to Choose Prevention.