When Dr. John Harvey started practicing in the 1980s, tables in a lab where cardiac patients underwent various procedures had a weight limit of 300 pounds.
It was rare that patients exceeded that table limit, meaning the procedure could not be performed. Today, he said, “we probably have at least a couple of patients a day that weigh more than that.”
Medical tables at Oklahoma Heart Hospital, where Harvey is chief executive officer, now have a capacity of 450 pounds, and some patients still are too heavy for those, he said.
It’s just another indication of the bad lifestyle choices and habits many Oklahomans have, he said.
Smoking, obesity, overeating, eating the wrong things, diabetes and lack of exercise, they’re all part of the problem, and all things that heart specialists point out to patients, he said.
“You often feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle.”
Many times he hears people talking about their favorite places to eat, always those with the most unhealthy sugar- and fat-laden cuisines, “and they don’t have any sense of embarrassment about that. That has to turn around.”
Smoking has declined consistently, but, he said, but for Oklahoma to move from the bottom of rankings for heart health will require “a significant cultural turnaround. I’m not sure how to get a handle on that.”