"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection," said the Buddha.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to care for yourself — even when you've been told you have a serious medical condition. Evidence of that comes from a study in JAMA Network Open that looks at how people who are diagnosed with premature heart disease take their medications.
Although most instances of cardiovascular disease happen to those age 65 or older, it's more and more common for problems to show up in folks in their 40s, 50s, and early 60s.
In fact, almost 5% of Americans ages 18 to 44 have heart disease, and nearly 12% of those 45 to 64 do.
The JAMA study shows that people with premature heart disease (men younger than 55; women younger than 65) and those with very premature heart disease (younger than 40) are skipping their medications.
Although they're more likely to be prescribed a high-intensity statin than older people with heart disease, only around 58% of folks with premature heart disease take those drugs conscientiously.
And younger patients with extremely premature disease are even less compliant: Only around 52% stick with their regular or high-intensity statin therapy.
One major study found that statins can reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 28% over a 20-year span.
So if you have early heart disease, take your statin, upgrade your nutrition, increase your exercise, and listen to the Buddha.