Heart Frauds: Uncovering the Biggest Health Scam in History Paperback – 1 Jan 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
He goes on to explain the biased teachings of the western system and the `closed eyes' syndrome that proliferates across the profession. He also explains in detail why some of the `routine' but expensive procedures used for cardiovascular problems are mostly non-effective or even totally unnecessary. On top of that, he explains how to stem, or even reverse, some ailments with simple techniques and no side effects.
Although it's a serious subject and can seem a little bit heavy going in places, there are several humorous stories and cartoons throughout the book to lighten up the reading experience.
As he says in the Epilogue, he wrote the book because he was frustrated at the explosion of the many worthless approaches to conventional medicine when there are more effective, cheaper and safer methods being totally ignored because of pure dogma and large fees at stake.
At the end of the day it reveals vital information for everyone to be one step ahead of the system by seeing exactly what goes on in the medical world. If they happen to be a part of this, as a patient, they will be in a much better position to make informed decisions about their own treatment and subsequent health. Hard hitting and extremely useful!
I have a strong family history of heart disease and I also have two diagnal lines across my ear lobes; these are THOUGHT to be signs of possible heart disease. Since heart disease is a silent killer and may offer no symptoms before it strikes and death can be the outcome, it is something we should all alert ourselves to and improve our knowledge of. Particularly since this killer disease is a western invention...pretty much.
Our lifestyle and Diet are much to do with heart disease. If you know someone at risk; and you will; you should read this book. There are other good books out there too, but this is one of the good ones and well worth reading.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Well, McGee's book cites multiple studies showing there is little correlation between cholesterol and heart disease. Before reading the book, I had only read the studies justifying the use of statin drugs. It seemed strange to me that so much pathology was tied in to a molecule which is needed by your body to make hormones and components of brain tissue.
McGee points out lack of inter and intra-rater relliability in reading angiograms, which is used as the main study to determine what type of treatment will follow, the most invasive being open heart surgery. Well, it turns out that angioplasty and/or cardiac bypass don't prolong life.
Many cardiologists that I know have become wealthy using the following algorhythm: use statins to lower cholesterol. This doesn't work to decrease heart disease, so they probably won't lose them as patients. After a heart attack or the onset of angina, do an angiogram. Well, angiograms aren't reliable, so they can read into it whatever pathology they want. Eventually, they'll do an angioplasty based on an unreliable angiogram, this won't stop angina, so they'll throw in some stents. Eventually, the cardiologist will have billed all the procedures he can. Time to send them off to the heart surgeon. They'll get a 2-5 vessel bypass costing 50-100k. By this time the patient is probably broke. Despite all the worry, pain of getting procedures, and cost, the patient will have the same lifespan as he would have had had he stayed away from cardiologists (except perhaps in the acute phase of the heart attack).
What I tell my family members is stop smoking, eat a pound of fresh vegetables a day, lean meats with lots of oily fish, exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week, take Vitamin B-6 to lower homocysteine, and when your doctor wants to measure your cholesterol, tell them "no thanks". Short of an acute infarct, stay away from cardiologists, especially the ones who describe themselves as "interventionalists", since invariably this will lead to a series of gradually more invasive procedures.
I didn't give 5 stars due to some of the cartoons in the book. I didn't think the cartoons fit in with the same scientific tone of the text.
Dr. McGee is not a conspiracy theorist, but a well-established doctor who is more respectful of the scientific method than the medical establishment. He supports every single statement with scientific studies. At the end of the book, he discloses an excellent bibliography with a summary of the major studies he refers to in order to advance his arguments.
He uncovers how the AMA has ignored such scientific studies to advance the lucrative practice of bypass, angioplasty, and cholesterol lowering drug prescriptions. All those practices have made a lot of money for the medical establishment. But, they have not helped the public's health whatsoever.
The author indicates that the vast majority of bypass surgeries are unnecessary. Angiograms are helplessly inaccurate. There is a more accurate test (quantitative angioplasty) that is never used on patients outside of research studies. Cholesterol-lowering drugs are ineffective. Studies indicate they marginally reduce mortality rate due to cardiovascular disease; but boost overall death rates due to much higher cancer rates.
In the author's mind, the whole focus on cholesterol is misguided. Studies have not found a significant link between cholesterol and heart disease. He states that one should focus instead on oxidation by avoiding foods that contain oxidized fats (trans fats), taking anti-oxidant vitamin supplements, eating fresh fruits and vegetables. And, eating eggs is just fine. No study has shown any link between egg consumption and heart disease.
He also rebuts a few other myths. Stress is not nearly as bad as people think. Studies found no correlation between Type A temperament and cardiovascular disease. Also, the benefits of aerobic exercise are in the middle intensity zone. High intensity exercise (triathlon training) is not better for you than just walking at a moderate pace.
If you enjoyed this book, I also strongly recommend two others: Lynne McTaggart's "What Doctors Don't Tell You" and Nortin Hadler's "The Last Well Person." These two books cover not just cardiovascular diseases but just about every major ailment. The books messages converge. Western medicine is costly, overly invasive, and not always effective. The medical establishment compromised by commercial funding misinterprets scientific studies to protect its existing economic interest. Each author supports his opinion with referenced scientific studies. They all provide vital information on how to maintain your health and sanity while navigating the Western medical establishment that can be helpful, but not always.
The first half of the book exposes current emergency room practice of giving (inaccurate) angiograms, recommending (unnecessary) angioplasty or bypass surgery and "balooning" our U.S. Medical costs. Even though better, less expensive alternatives exist, who will champion them? Certainly not established cardiologists and heart surgeons who he humorously compares to "hold up" bandits of the wild west with their masks. This may seem extreme, and he admits they mean no harm but are creatures of "misinformation", and peoples enfatuation with "technological solutions".
The second half of the book explores the history of our poor nutrition: exhorbitant sugar intake (soft drinks), processed and canned foods (white breads), lack of fruits and vegetables, etc. The only saving grace has been our intake of Vitamins which has had a positive influence. Studies & footnotes are cited throughout (you can obtain at your medical library) verifying claims made. The author casts AHA and AMA members who may agree with him in an awkward position of being "captured" and unable to speak out for fear of being austracized. Often, they mean well but have been nurtured in a "left brain" (detailed) specialty environment and not trained to look at the big picture. This book is reminiscient of the best seller, "Making of a Surgeon" by William Nolen by the fervor and dedication of the author agaist all odds to reveal a "flawed system".
The point of the book is to expose Heart Frauds, describe their history, and show better alternatives to angioplasty and bypass surgery based on well-documented studies, unknown to most physicians. There's plenty for all to learn, especially physicians. Beware, as you may find this book may change your lifestyle (and lifespan). You may swear off Krispy Kreme doughnuts, soft drinks, processed and canned foods and even insist on alternatives to angioplasty and bypass surgery should you find yourself in the cardiac unit of your local hospital.
Easy to read, well-referenced, this is probably the best guide available today. The first editorial review is quite accurate. Five star!
Need more preventative options instead of just masking the real problems with a pill or diet that really doesn't work. Treat the cause not the symptoms. Thanks Dr. McGee for enlightening me on a very important subject! Oh, and this book read like a murder mystery! After the first two chapters, I was hooked and couldn't stop reading it.
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