Aging Heart Disease …

Heart Monitor
If you have heart disease  you’ll probably never know it.  For most victims, the first heart attack is the last one.  Each year almost a million Americans suffer a heart attack, and only one third of them survive.

If you’re lucky and your heart disease is discovered in time,  chances are your doctor will recommend something called  “balloon angioplasty.”    This is one of the current techniques.
Since 1978 it has pushed aside bypass surgery as the favorite procedure.  It is cheaper, easier for the doctor, and not so hard on the patient.

In angioplasty,  a tiny balloon is threaded through your blocked arteries and expanded.  Supposedly this clears the heart arteries by pushing the fatty plaque against the artery wall.   Some people call this the “clogged drain” theory of treating heart disease.

But not without problems.   Six times as many angioplasty patients need repeat treatment or surgery as those who had a bypass. 

A  study in the  Journal of the American Medical Association (1992)  found that half the angioplasties carried out in the U.S. were probably unnecessary!    According to the study,  “ … not a single properly randomized study  supports the superior advantage,  if any,  of angioplasty as compared with medical therapy …”

The kindest thing I can say about angioplasty is that it’s a short-term solution.   Studies show the arteries close up again in 57% of all cases.  The terrified patient has to undergo another angioplasty.  If he or she lives through all this,  bypass surgery is next.   I’m not a fan of drugs therapy,  but studies show even drugs are better treatment than either angioplasty or bypass. 

Another technique will eventually replace angioplasty.  You may hear about  “laser endarterectomy.”  There’s also something called “atherectomy.”   They actually insert a tiny,  high-speed rotating knife  in your artery to cut away the cholesterol.

However,  according to two studies,  one out of 12 atherectomy patients dies within six months.  The arteries close up again in about half of all atherectomy patients.

The answer to the aging diseases is likely quite different from what modern medicine thinks !

Healthy aging …    <>

No comments:

Post a Comment