“Heart attacks are three times more likely to take a life than a gunshot injury.” That’s the opinion regarding heart health among hunters expressed by Dr. Eric Good, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan Health System in a CNN story you may have seen last week.
The piece went on to assert Dr. Good's recommendations for hunters at risk, namely those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. I'm sure we all know the common suggestions (most are just good sense), but they're always worth repeating. Dr. Good suggests that those with heart disease or a heart-related problem, or who have already suffered a heart attack should think carefully about where they hunt, and not go too far into the woods. Never hunt alone and always carry a cell phone. See your doctor for a checkup before the season starts, and it's not a bad idea to do some safe cardio training to get your body ready. Dr. Good was especially concerned about hunters at the moment they spot or shoot an animal, as the "adrenaline dump" causes great stress on the heart. He also worried about strenuous activities, such as hauling a harvest out of the woods. This is a pretty conscientious set of blog readers, so I'd like to think we're all taking good care of ourselves out there. But what about others you know? Do you get frustrated watching family members or friends ignore risk factors and not taking the precautions they should? I'm so health and safety conscious, I even take sleep deprivation very seriously. But I certainly worry about un-named people who don't want to let a "pesky" risk get in the way. -K.H.