House Calls

House Calls Started This Year

House calls are meant for patients who are temporarily or permanently home bound, or for other good reasons can't make it into the office.

To schedule a house call: Tel (203) 853-1919; email

Monday, November 28, 2016

To My Patients, September 2016

It's been a wonderful summer; fall is around the corner. It's a great opportunity to take advantage of the outdoors, walking hiking, apple picking, you name it...

It's also a good time to take care of yourself, make sure you are at optimal health.

→ My Take On Optimal Health

I have been looking at US health and longevity data for many years and was very active in a niche organization dealing with health risk reduction.

By health standards, we are not doing very well in the US. But you, as an individual, can do a whole lot better.

In a 2015 survey, the US ranked approximately #43 in longevity, with a life expectancy of 79 years, at least 5 years below the top ranking countries such as Monaco, Japan and Singapore. Yet the per capita cost of medicine in the US is the highest in the world. Still, early detection of disease, and the treatment of disease is the most aggressive and advanced in the world (despite all of its deficiencies), and that's a good thing.

But the key to longer, healthier life is lifestyle. That's where you can do something for yourself beyond what the health system does not do for you.

There's no need to re-emphasize the danger of smoking. It's still the number one primary cause of premature death in the US.

Overweight and lack of physical activity, combined, is the number two cause of premature death in the US.

You can increase your physical activity and lead an interesting life even if you don't go to the gym. The fall season is a great time to take a walk by the beach, hike on a nature trail, visit the outdoors flea market (at least 10 of them in Fairfield County), or walk the long corridors of the museums. Apple picking is a great weekend activity in the fall. Are you into the Pokémon game? Good. People active in the game, "chasing" the Pokémon, have reported impressive weight losses of 30-40 pounds, and they are having fun doing it.

Healthier foods have now become common place in supermarkets and many restaurants. Organic and less processed food is much more available. There are an increased choice of low sugar, whole grain, and low saturated foods. But you still have to read the label carefully. Farmer's markets are offering fresher, tastier fruit and vegetables.

Even the fast food places now offer much healthier foods, including chicken that is not fried, and fresh salads (but please avoid those French fries and the heavy duty salad dressings-a little oil and vinegar will do).

With all of that, still don't forget early detection, which is the most important part of your routine physical examination, plus prevention, which includes immunizations and treatment of known health risks.

So there's a lot you can do for yourself to increase longevity. As a whole we don't have to be part of the "43rd ranking" of longevity. Individually we can do a whole lot better than that.

→ Keeping It Healthy

If you need any help staying on track, or if you think there's something you can do better, please feel free to reach out by email or phone.

If you need any help, I'm here.

Stay well,

Igal Staw, Ph.D., M.D.

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