Hibernating is bad for us. Winter defines Cleveland, but it’s also the simplest reason why it’s a challenge for us to stay healthy. It’s hard to exercise, and we’re starved of sunlight that warms our mood (and provides Vitamin D).
Our economic wounds don’t help, either. “Because we’ve been somewhat depressed on the financial side ... people have a tendency to overeat,” says Dr. Richard Lang, the Cleveland Clinic’s chairman of preventive medicine and vice president of its Wellness Institute. “They tend to drink more [alcohol], tend to drink more coffee, tend to eat fast foods.”
Cleveland city residents have higher rates of obesity, asthma and diabetes than the national average, according to a 2006 Case Western Reserve University survey. One-third of Clevelanders are obese, compared to one in four people nationwide, and 10.8 percent are diabetic, compared to 6.7 percent of all Americans.
So our city may be hurting our health. But living here means we’re a car or bus ride away from brilliant doctors whom others travel from throughout the world to see.
We talked to some of these doctors about eight common illnesses found here and what we can do so that we may not ever need their first-rate care.
Check back March 1 for all of our Best Doctors 2009 stories. For the complete list of the 774 Northeast Ohio doctors on this year’s list, pick up a March issue of Cleveland Magazine.