Throughout this weeks reading we have journeyed into a world of evolutionary health issue such as chronic diseases. The most popular health narratives have been in the form of discussing chronic heart diseases. Origins of chronic diseases are imbricated due to a host of factors (as discussed in this weeks readings) like genetics, improper nutritional intake, sedentary life styles that has been embodied by Western society.
In the Article that I researched via Science News, “Heart Disease Linked to Evolutionary Changes That May Have Protected Early Mammals from Trauma” Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania explores rationales for the evolution of heart diseases in mammals. In this article there is a belief that, “The same features of blood platelets that may have provided an evolutionary advantage to early mammals now predispose humans to cardiovascular disease” But can we really blame natural selection for chronic diseases?
Thus, there is a belief that via an evolutionary lens that platelets are uses as clotting factors in case of injury and or trauma (Platelet- A small colorless disk-shaped cell fragment without a nucleus, found in large numbers in blood and involved in clotting) which the research believe is why individuals have heart disease. In this article it is said that, “Platelets are required to prevent excessive bleeding following traumatic injury, but they also form clots at sites of atherosclerotic plaques in the blood vessels that lead to stroke and heart attack”. This is interesting because we do use blood thinners such as Coumadin, Aspirin, heparin, and other blood thinners to prevent heart attacks and stroke, but are platelets really the source of heart disease? And what will happen to mammals if we lacked platelets? Dr. Khan do believe that platlets give humans an advantage
It was interesting to learn in this article that mammals have platelets but no other mammal do. And maybe we truly can blame evolution for chronic heart diseases, but also take ownership of other factors that cause hear disease as well.