• Glenn Wilson
    53
    How Not to Die from Heart Disease

    ... the choice isn’t whether or not to eat healthy to prevent heart disease; it’s whether or not you want to reverse the heart disease you likely already have.

    Is that even possible? When researchers took people with heart disease, and put them on the kind of plant-based diet followed by populations that did not get epidemic heart disease, their hope was that it might slow the disease process down—maybe even stop it. But, instead, something miraculous happened.

    The disease started to reverse; to get better. As soon as patients stopped eating artery-clogging diets, their bodies were able to start dissolving some of the plaque away, opening up arteries without drugs, without surgery—suggesting their bodies wanted to heal all along, but were just never given the chance. That improvement in blood flow to the heart muscle itself (on the left) was after just three weeks eating healthy.

    See, plant-based diets aren’t just safer and cheaper. They can work better, because you’re treating the actual cause of the disease.
    How Not to Die from Heart Disease.

    A way to reverse CAD (coronary artery disease )?
    Though current medical and surgical treatments manage coronary artery disease, they do little to prevent or stop it. Nutritional intervention, as shown in our study and others, has halted and even reversed CAD. ...

    Of the 198 patients with CVD (cardiovascular disease),177 (89%) were adherent. Major cardiac events judged to be recurrent disease totaled one stroke in the adherent cardiovascular participants—a recurrent event rate of .6%, significantly less than reported by other studies of plant-based nutrition therapy. Thirteen of 21 (62%) nonadherent participants experienced adverse events. ...

    Of adherent patients with CAD, radiographic or stress testing results were available to document disease reversal in 39 (22%). ...

    Patients who avoided all meat, fish, dairy, and, knowingly, any added oils throughout the program were considered adherent.
    A way to reverse CAD?

    Thousands of heart patients get stents that may do more harm than good
    Now, researchers from the United Kingdom have published a high-quality study in the Lancet that helps answer the pain question. Building on years of lower-quality evidence, the well-designed study suggests stents may in fact be useless for pain in people with stable angina who are being treated with medication.

    "Surprisingly, even though the stents improved blood supply, they didn't provide more relief of symptoms compared to drug treatments, at least in this patient group," said Rasha Al-Lamee, lead author of the study and a researcher at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, in a statement. This doesn’t mean stents should never be used in stable chest pain patients — some patients can’t take the medications that control angina, for example — but doctors may want to consider inserting these devices as a last resort.
    Thousands of heart patients get stents that may do more harm than good.

    When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes
    FIRST, LISTEN TO THE STORY with the happy ending: At 61, the executive was in excellent health. His blood pressure was a bit high, but everything else looked good, and he exercised regularly. Then he had a scare. He went for a brisk post-lunch walk on a cool winter day, and his chest began to hurt. Back inside his office, he sat down, and the pain disappeared as quickly as it had come.

    That night, he thought more about it: middle-aged man, high blood pressure, stressful job, chest discomfort. The next day, he went to a local emergency department. Doctors determined that the man had not suffered a heart attack and that the electrical activity of his heart was completely normal. All signs suggested that the executive had stable angina — chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle is getting less blood-borne oxygen than it needs, often because an artery is partially blocked. ...

    The executive had been very smart to seek more information, and now, by coming to Brown, he was very lucky, too. Brown is part of the RightCare Alliance, a collaboration between health-care professionals and community groups that seeks to counter a trend: increasing medical costs without increasing patient benefits. As Brown put it, RightCare is “bringing medicine back into balance, where everybody gets the treatment they need, and nobody gets the treatment they don’t need.” And the stent procedure was a classic example of the latter. In 2012, Brown had coauthored a paper that examined every randomized clinical trial that compared stent implantation with more conservative forms of treatment, and he found that stents for stable patients prevent zero heart attacks and extend the lives of patients a grand total of not at all. In general, Brown says, “nobody that’s not having a heart attack needs a stent.” (Brown added that stents may improve chest pain in some patients, albeit fleetingly.) Nonetheless, hundreds of thousands of stable patients receive stents annually, and one in 50 will suffer a serious complication or die as a result of the implantation procedure.
    When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes.

    More in the category Health and Medical.

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