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The Hidden Epidemic: Heart Disease in America
The Hidden Epidemic Heart Disease in America
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2007     1hr 56min

Dramatic personal stories showcase the stunning scientific advances that are transforming the field of cardiology, and the effect these changes will have on people stricken with the disease.


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Movie Details

Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: Wgbh / Pbs
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/20/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2003
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 56min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The Hidden Epidemic: Heart Disease in America
buyer45 | 09/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw parts of this on Larry King Live. When I had a possible artery blockage. After stress test & nuclear stress test results were not definitive. Cardiologist wanted me to have a catheter from groin to heart artery. Didn't want something invasive. Because of this DVD I remembered they have a CAT Scan to look at arteries. I had a 64 slice scan of the heart arteries (due to my insistence) and thank God no blockage. Now I am happy and didn't need anything stuck into my body. This DVD arms you with questions to ask and not be in the dark about the process."
Good, but Not Great
Loyd E. Eskildson | Phoenix, AZ. | 10/25/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

""The Hidden Epidemic" is a PBS Health Campaign special on the number one killer of Americans. Americans' smoking habits, high fat diet and low exercise have caught up with our hearts. This documentary shows how the Framingham Heart Study and 50 years of research have dramatically changed our attitudes on heart health. The Framingham study, starting in 1948 and following over 5000 men and women (original enrollees and their children) shows how health, nutrition and genetics contribute to heart disease.

A 44-year-old man with a new baby, and no health complaints suddenly drops dead from a massive heart attack. His case is not unique. More than half of all people who die of heart disease succumb suddenly without warning, and the other half have the disease developing for many years before it strikes. There is no cure, but doctors are learning remarkable new things about the disease: where it starts, how it occurs, and what that means for us.

What most struck me was SMOKING!!! This seems to be part of the big problem, especially when World War II soldiers were given free cigarettes, and then came home and passed the habit on to their spouses and children. Despite how the program touts drugs (you wonder if pharmaceutical companies are supporting it), the other two key issues are weight and nutrition. If you can't lose weight, the blood pressure drugs are good, but the best things to do are control weight, exercise, and overall nutrition. The constant push for using statins to control cholesterol hit me as pharmaceutical related industries' hand in this documentary with their enormous budgets. Overall a very good program, but the main point is to start young and eat right, exercise, and not smoke. Our lifestyle is killing us."
Forewarned is forearmed in the battle against heart disease
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 08/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"To help understand the origins of the worst medical problem in America today, this program starts with a basic history of heart disease when it gained prominence in the post World War 2 era. Several factors contributed to the public lapsing into a sedentary community such as television watching, dependency on automation to perform chores and other activities, and automobiles for transportation. All these elements unfortunately steered people away from the valuable benefits of exercise. Also noteworthy is the high fat diets of many Americans and this plays an ominous role in cardiovascular problems too.

Heart disease, in a frightening way, can be a silent killer because many people affected with this problem don't show warning signs or symptoms for long periods of time. It can even single out individuals who live an active lifestyle and it doesn't discriminate who it targets in regards to gender, race, or ethnicity. To get an understanding how potent this crisis is in America, the following statistics speak volumes:

1 in every 2 men and 1 in every 3 women will develop heart disease in their lifetimes

Every 26 seconds, someone experiences a cardiac event and once every minute someone dies from a cardiac event

Over 6 million operations for heart related problems are performed in America each year

500,000 people every year have a repeat heart attack

More than 60,000 individuals need a heart transplant every year

Fortunately, all news is not bad news though. The largest risk factors leading to heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking cigarettes, Diabetes, and family history and much of this is preventable and significantly treatable nowadays. Scientific and medical research has developed new techniques and discovered powerful medications that can make a world of difference in fighting cardiovascular disease. As rewarding as all of this is, the consideration that there is no known cure for heart disease is still at the forefront. Medical experts in this program point out that people should always strive to maintain healthy lifestyles and diets as these are two of the foremost deterrents in avoiding future heart ailments.

`The Hidden Epidemic: Heart Disease in America' is an excellent documentary that I found highly informative, interesting, and thought provoking from beginning to end. The medical dialogue, procedures, and illustrations were all explained in good detail and easy to understand and the overall message here is vitally important to people in all walks of life. This is recommended viewing.