The passing of Justice Scalia is a call to arms for older men. What do I mean? Well….reading all of the news accounts, it appears that Justice Scalia died from sudden cardiac death, which is classically the first manifestation of heart disease in 1/3 of people with heart disease.
He is the classic person to have this happen: a man, late 70’s, sleeping….that’s enough. Men have a much greater risk of heart disease than women. As men age, that risk increases greatly (look…we die either of heart disease or cancer as a general rule, at that age.) He does not have to have any additional risk factors. Being a man in the US makes you at risk for heart disease and therefore…sudden death.
Using a previously described Supreme Court Justice Death Calculator, it appears that Justic Scalia,a generally healthy man in his late 70’s, was at a statistically higher risk (18% in the next 4 years) of dying than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (17% in the next 4 years)…a woman with cancer and who looks so frail that one wonders if a strong wind wouldn’t make her fly away.
So….the lesson here, is that men in their 70’s need to consider preventive approaches to heart disease. Control cholesterol and blood pressure; take aspirin; exercise regularly. Try your best at all of the things I mention in THE KEYS, as the ways of staying healthy.
Older men….do not fret. Don’t let Justice Scalia’s sudden death get you spooked. Take action and take control.