Health Advice



It's never been more important to stop chronic diseases before -they start

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

When Bobby Womack and Candi Staton sang "Stop Before We Start" in 1978, they were talking about avoiding a broken heart -- but that's just one of the health risks you want to stop before they start, especially now that COVID-19 is here.

As data on the virus emerge, it's becoming clear that folks with certain chronic conditions are at an increased risk of serious complications and death. That's one more reason you want to maintain your youngest-possible RealAge. It not only helps you fight COVID-19, it puts you in the strongest position to resist whatever comes down the pike next. So, here are the stats:

-- In 95% of all COVID-19-related ICU cases, the patient was 80 or older and/or had obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, COPD or asthma, or immune suppression (from medication or a disease).

-- People with cardiovascular disease who contract the virus have a 13.2% risk of dying from it. Those with diabetes -- a 9.2% risk. High blood pressure -- an 8.4% risk. Chronic respiratory disease -- an 8% risk.

-- No preexisting conditions? The risk of dying from COVID-19 is 0.9%.

So let this light a fire in you to make sure you avoid all highly processed foods, and red and processed meats, plus eat seven to nine servings of fruits and veggies a day, including only 100% whole grains. Even while you're in lockdown, get 30-60 minutes of aerobic activity daily and strength-building exercise two to three times weekly. Then you can sing another Womack song, "Trust Your Heart."



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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