Another failure of conventional cardiac care

Though Tim Russert was widely known and respected for his political commentary, he will likely be better remembered as an example of the gross shortcomings of the conventional approach to heart disease.

Let's face it:

Standard heart disease prevention efforts are a miserable failure.

A Track Your Plaque member brought this interview of Mr. Russert's doctor to my attention.

It appears that his doctor did all the correct conventional things. You know what became of it. In the eyes of the public and of any attorney, or even of my colleagues, no wrong was committed. The blame does not lie with Mr. Russert's hapless doctor. The blame lies on the system that endorses procedures, prescription medications, the blind adherence to dogma dictated by the pharmaceutical industry and FDA, along with a prevailing philosophy of preferring the management of catastrophes to preventing them. Dr. Newman's idea of a solution: Making an automatic defibrillator (AED) more widely available (!!!).

How long does this sort of idiocy have to go on? How many people have to die before the system uses the tools that are already available, tools that could have prevented this tragedy and many more like it?

If you and your doctor subscribe to the program that the unfortunate Mr. Russert was prescribed and the brainwashing, unthinking nonsense that his doctor follows, you are a fool. Shame on you. You therefore likely subscribe to the same variety of marketing BS that issues from food manufacturers about Cheerios, whole grains, and low-fat diets.

Get with the program. Sadly, Mr. Russert is not the first, he's not the last. The tragedies of conventional advice that line the pockets of drug and food manufacturers number in the millions. We're not talking about some obscure, rare disease. We're talking about the number one cause of death in both males and females nationwide.

I deeply wish this message could have reached Mr. Russert before his untimely death. We could all look forward to another Sunday morning with his usual incisive, unforgiving probing of the day's political figures.

Comments (5) -

  • Anonymous

    6/16/2008 2:12:00 PM |

    And from the description of McCain's health he could well be following the same sort of program.


  • Anonymous

    6/16/2008 4:47:00 PM |

    Great post - I too wish that Mr. Russert had received better medical advice!  The mark of the current dogma is that if "it" fails, then you aren't doing "it" enough (i.e., go more low fat but don't forget those grains, increase the meds, etc.)  Heaven forbid that anyone would actually think that since the treatment didn't work, maybe the premise is wrong!!!  Maybe we should look for a different approach?  Oy...

  • Anonymous

    6/16/2008 11:37:00 PM |


    I physician with integrity!!!!!   I said the same, nearly exact statements all week.  

    The voice of truth, what a breath of fresh air.  I am a physician also and know that the only "cure" for disease is prevention.

    Please take a look at my web site, and contact me ant time.  I will be in Milwaukee surrounding speaking engagements in St Louis and Chicago in September.

    Thank you for the candor.

    Darrell L. Tanelian. M.D., Ph.D.

  • Anonymous

    6/19/2008 5:54:00 PM |

    I've just been fired by my doc because I wanted to come off all the medications I was on. What's the good of being alive if the meds make me immobile. He said he could not treat my problems without medication.

    I will continue my low dose of metformin, although the low carb WOE has been responsible for taking metformin down from the max dosage to the min dosage.

    Am I nuts, perhaps.

  • Dana Seilhan

    6/22/2008 6:14:00 PM |

    My grandmother is suffering from congestive heart failure with a history of type 2 diabetes.  She had surgery earlier this year for blocked arteries.  Her husband, my grandfather, passed away last November and his friends and our family aren't sure (last I heard) whether it was from a stroke (the rupture kind--ischemic?) or from an aneurysm, but the underlying cause was high blood pressure.  He, too, was type 2 diabetic.  My family is Cajun and so, as you can probably guess, eats large amounts of rice and other grain foods.  Doubtless both my grandparents had been preached the low-fat gospel and put on all sorts of meds.  It was thought that my grandfather was taking his BP meds incorrectly before his death--only when his BP was elevated, not all the time.  Nobody stopped to wonder whether he was simply eating wrong.  That would have reduced or eliminated the need for BP meds in the first place.

    I have to move soon to help my mom with my grandmother.  Mom is type 2 diabetic as well.  At times she's suffered from glucose levels in the 400s, which is too high even for post-prandial.  It is affecting her mental health as well as her physical.  I'm going to see if I can't talk her into trying a different approach because even if low-fat worked for diabetes--which it resoundingly doesn't--it's very hard to maintain, because the constant blood sugar spikes and crashes leave you hungry all the time, with predictable results.

    If I can spare her what her parents have gone through... that would be something.  I just wish I could have spared them too.

    To exacerbate the problem, diabetes is epidemic in south Louisiana, right along with poverty--and what do the food banks give poor people?  Grain foods, predominantly.  Just what they need.  (Not.)  I hope to help change that too.