The American College of Lifestyle Medicine provides leadership and assistance, facilitating lifestyle medicine clinicians' pursuits of continuing medical education, practice knowledge, leadership skills, and research information needed to provide quality patient care and best treat patients with lifestyle-related diseases.

19 Oct 2014 (PDT) • San Diego, CA
21 Oct 2014 7:00 PM (EDT) • Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Hotel

Health Care: From Reform, to Revolution

Heart disease is not the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States.  Cancer, stroke, pulmonary disease, diabetes, and dementia are not the other leading causes of early mortality and/or chronic malady either.

Don’t get me wrong- these are the very diseases immediately responsible for an enormous loss of years from life, and an even greater loss of life from years. In that context, heart disease is indeed the most common immediate precipitant of early death among women and men alike.  Cancer, stroke, and diabetes do indeed follow close behind. It’s just that these diseases aren’t really causes. They are effects.

Let’s digress to note we cannot ‘prevent’ death. But what makes death tragic is not that it happens- we are all mortal- but that it happens too soon. And even worse, that it happens after a long period of illness drains away vitality, capacity, and the pleasure of living. Chronic disease can produce a long, lingering twilight of quasi-living, before adding to that injury the insult of a premature death. And that, we can prevent. We can preserve vitality, and we can postpone death to its rightful time, at the end of our full life expectancy.