As if we needed something else to worry about, this week torn aortas will be in the news. I had never heard of this problem before although 10,000 people a year in the U.S. suffer from one. I suppose 10,000 people in a country of 311 million is not that big of a percentage. But, when taken alone, 10,000 is a lot of people and if it happens to your or one of your loved ones, percentages don’t matter. I have seen reports that high blood pressure accounts for 3/4ths of the cases. I wonder what causes the remaining 25%? Although it may be just the genetic luck of the draw like so many other health problems, I think this is another one that can be limited to some extent by our choices. Sometimes there is nothing that could have been done to prevent a health tragedy, but we can put the odds in our favor with wise diet and lifestyle choices.
Here is a good summary article describing a torn aorta. Richard Holbrooke has had a few moments of controversy in his diplomatic career and some say has been a small part of the Wall Street financial services gang that gets so much bad PR these days. But overall he has been a dedicated and effective public official who has served us well for almost 50 years. I am sure we all wish him a complete and speedy recovery.