U of S : Communications : OCN : Nov 28, 1997
Dr. Bruce Reeder, of Community Health and Epidemiology, has been receiving a good deal of positive press in the past few months.
As part of the Canadian Heart Health Surveys Research Group, he's been involved in extensive research into the detection of heart disease risk and programs for prevention.
By using a simple measurement - of the circumference of a standing patient's waist after a normal breath has been exhaled - Dr. Reeder and his colleagues have found an inexpensive and effective way of determining the risk of coronary heart disease.
"It's as simple as this," Reeder says: "Your risk of developing heart disease resulting from elevated blood cholesterol, diabetes, anf high blood pressure increases when your waist exceeds 90cm (36"). And once it exceeds 100cm (39"), the risk of these conditions being present doubles."
The efficacy of these simple tests has generated a great deal of interest since Reeder's team presented their results atan international cardiology conference in Montreal in July and had them published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The Globe and Mail ran a front page article on the findings and both the CBC and Global television networks carried stories on them.
Earlier this month, Dr. Reeder was mentioned in the nationally syndicated column "Doctor Game," by Dr. W. Gifford-Jones, which is carried in the StarPhoenix. The well known columnist cited all the uncertainties that attend more elaborate efforts of determining coronary heart disease and went on to praise the Saskatoon medical team for KISS - Keeping It Simple, Stupid.
"What did [the Saskatoon researchers] do? Fancy blood tests? Genetics testing? Not at all. You can't use that test if you have a KISS mentality....They found that waist circumference is the single best way to predict heart disease risk."
Dr. Reeder did not know that he and his work had been mentioned in the article until it was published.
The nutrition column of the November 16 issue of Maclean's also ran the story.
Dr. Reeder says the research has garnered mass media interest because of its relevance to everybody. - Morla Milne
Editor's note: See Comm. Health & Epidemiology item in the Coming Events section.