The Federal Government Wants a Million More Hearts To Keep Beating To Gain Votes, Not Save Lives
by Bill Sardi
In the ramp-up to re-elect the incumbent President, The Centers For Disease Control wants to keep one-million more hearts beating over the next five years. The impetus for the timing of this program is the upcoming Presidential election, not the 800,000 lives needlessly lost due to mortal heart attacks.
In an obvious political move — complimentary comments about "The First Lady's u2018Let's Move' campaign" are included in the background paper that explains the program — the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has launched a "million hearts" initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next 5 years.
Just like the government's 5-A-Day campaign to encourage consumption of more fruits and vegetables did not reduce mortality rates for cancer or heart disease, this program is designed to gain votes, not save lives.
The program is likely to run up the bill on Medicare as it facilitates greater entry of more at-risk adults into screening, treatment and medication programs that have not resulted in reduced mortality rates and have only served as a distraction to the population at large over the primary cause of heart disease. In other words, it is a money-grab by the medical-industrial complex at a time when healthcare dollars are in short supply.
The CDC takes great pride in declaring government-sponsored health programs have resulted in a 50% decline in U.S. mortality due to heart attacks between 1980 and 2000. But the U.S. would be better to figure out how the Japanese and the French have a far lower mortality rate than the U.S. despite higher cholesterol numbers in those populations.
Utilizing a number of false assumptions, health authorities claim better treatment rather than prevention led to a sharp decline in the age-adjusted death rate for coronary heart disease during the period 1980 to 2000, plunging from 542.9 to 266.8 deaths per 100,000 population among men and from 263.3 to 134.4 deaths per 100,000 population among women, which resulted in 341,745 fewer deaths from coronary heart disease in 2000.
Coronary artery bypass surgery and statin drugs contribute only mildly to the reduction in coronary artery disease mortality experienced since 1980.
The preventive measures mentioned in the plan are cholesterol reduction campaigns and broader use of aspirin. However, an analysis of the top ten largest studies reveals cholesterol reduction does not significantly lower coronary artery disease mortality and aspirin simply isn't working because baby aspirin tablets (81 mg) which most people are advised to take are not strong enough to prevent blood clots in coronary arteries and full-strength aspirin tablets (325 mg) induce gastric bleeding and result in thousands of needless deaths per year.
The agenda in the "Million Hearts" program is to waive co-payments for preventive exams (these essentially represent scouting missions by doctors to find more disease to treat, not true disease prevention) and to conduct more smoking cessation and cholesterol-reduction programs, which are not likely to be productive.
The "Million Hearts" campaign is part of the Administration's plan to shift 32 million more uninsured Americans to a government insurance program. The only way to accomplish this is to nationalize healthcare and bring all healthy people into the insurance pool. This is a colossal effort to rescue Medicare at least temporarily from insolvency. It is a bonanza for doctors and hospitals. The treatment pool will increase.
The "Million Hearts" campaign really falls flat when it describes what will be futile efforts to reduce salt and trans fats (hydrogenated fats) intake in the American diet.
For example, its working paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine says "since most dietary sodium comes from processed and restaurant foods," government agencies will propose school-food standards to limit salt intake. What? Since when are school kids at risk for heart attacks? Sodium reduction will only marginally reduce the death rate for heart attacks.
In Japan, the country with the lowest death rate for coronary heart disease, sodium intake far exceeds that of the U.S.
The "Million Hearts" program goes on to say it will chide Americans to replace trans fats with "heart healthy oils." But how so? Most of these bad oils are planted in processed foods, many which are unlabelled in restaurants. Hydrogenated fats may increase levels of circulating cholesterol, but cholesterol is not the primary factor that is responsible for sudden mortal heart attacks, calcium is (explained below).
All public health authorities need do is study heart wellness, not heart disease. They will see that traditional diets do more to promote heart health than any medicines. Just take a gander in the chart below at how poorly the U.S. compares to France and Japan for risk of heart disease.
This author continues to maintain calcium is the primary culprit in arterial disease. Let's examine eight lines of evidence for this claim:
1. See the chart below which shows the coronary artery disease mortality rate by country.
The rate of coronary artery disease mortality in Japan and France is less than 100 per 100,000 versus the current US rate of about 240 per 100,000. The death rate from coronary artery disease is much higher in dairy-producing nations (Scandinavia, US, Canada, New Zealand) than other countries. The consumption of calcium-rich dairy is very low in Japan compared to other developed nations. Chart Source: National Library of Medicine
2. The annual death rate from coronary heart disease is largely determined by the ratio of calcium over magnesium in the diet.
3. The risk for a mortal heart attack is magnanimously predicted by the arterial calcium score (CAT-scan with calcium arterial measurement). There is almost a 24-fold increased risk for death with increasing calcification of arteries. The death rate is almost zero for those individuals with calcium arterial scores below 10. A calcium analysis of coronary arteries is now considered the best test to determine risk for a heart attack.
4. The death rate of females from heart disease dramatically increases with the onset of menopause and the loss of calcium from bones and deposition in arteries.
5. If calcium is the primary cause of age-related coronary heart disease, and mortality rates dropped in the past few decades, then did consumption of calcium-rich dairy products decline at the same time? Total milk consumption declined considerably in recent decades. US milk consumption is down 21.5% since 1975.
6. Reduction in milk consumption with a parallel increased in sugar soft drink consumption over the same time, which gave rise to diabetes while coronary heart disease declined.
7. We find that those adults who consume more vitamin K-rich foods exhibit a lower risk for fatal coronary heart disease. Vitamin K (phylloquinone) is an anti-calcifying agent.
I've presented eight lines of evidence here that calcium, not cholesterol, is the primary cause of coronary artery disease and related mortality.
Finally, let's not forget that two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling wrote a book entitled Vitamin C And The Common Cold in 1970 and the intake of vitamin C increased 300% and mortality from heart disease declined by 30%.
What does all this mean? It means public health authorities are misleading the masses, taking credit for saving lives when no credit is deserved, and hiding the primary cause of heart disease so as to maintain a large pool of patients to treat. The public is being gamed. True prevention — where there is no disease to treat — is a charade. American medicine is solely fixated on treatment after disease is detected, not in eliminating the occurrence of disease altogether. That the dreaded health problem of a mortal heart attack is now being exploited to get a President re-elected speaks for racketeering between modern medicine and reigning political parties.