Researchers with the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association estimate that an additional 12.8 million Americans ages 40 to 75 are eligible for statin therapy under the latest guidelines – yet another significant shift from prevention and health care to disease care. The USA is alone in the world in its drive to manage rather than prevent heart disease. Have we given up on helping people make appropriate lifestyle changes? Is this plan to spend billions of dollars on drug therapy the right use of resources for a problem that can be prevented and reversed 90% of the time with lifestyle changes?
Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer in the United States despite the fact that we can prevent this disease 90% of the time with lifestyle changes. We currently spend 90% of our health care dollars for procedures and hospital care that don’t prevent future heart attacks and strokes, but only treat symptoms.
In high risk males, statin medications have been shown to prevent cardiovascular events. Although this plan will slow the demise of Americans, it doesn’t address the real cause for heart disease, and many of the millions of people treated with this plan will still die from cardiovascular disease.
Statin medications have never been shown in clinical studies to benefit women.
Statin medications also have numerous side effects, some of which are not fully recognized by the public:
- · Liver inflammation, rarely resulting in liver failure
- · Muscle injury, rarely resulting in kidney failure and/or death
- · Memory loss
- · Increased blood sugar levels and increased risk for diabetes
- · A drop in testosterone levels, decreasing drive and energy for men and women
- · A drop in enzyme and hormone levels, in particular Co-Q-10 needed for energy production
At the National American Heart Association meeting today in San Francisco, Dr. Steven Masley is presenting research data showing that total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, the targets for statin drug therapy, do not impact arterial plaque growth—the true cause of heart disease. The most important factors are fitness level, food and nutrient intake. Here are Five Fabulous Factors that help prevent arterial plaque growth:
- · Increased Fiber intake
- · Increased Fitness
- · Increased Fish intake
- · Decreased or low Body Fat
- · Increased Food nutrient intake (magnesium, potassium, zinc)
Implementing and supporting these lifestyle choices would prevent arterial plaque growth, and for those with known cardiovascular disease, they have been shown to reverse arterial plaque and heart disease.
Statin medications will slow the progression of heart disease for men. Yet, we still have the opportunity to prevent and reverse this problem with choices that make sense and ring true with the public. Especially for women, let’s ensure people have the resources to add foods and nutrients, and to get fit, so they can prevent this disease. In contrast to medications and their side effects, lifestyle choices that prevent and reverse heart disease would have the added beneficial side effects that tune up brain performance, energy, waistlines, and romantic lives.
Do you have any personal experience dealing with heart disease? What tips and advice can you share?