Thursday, July 31, 2008

Health Nugget - Heart Disease-an Inflammatory Disease

Dr. R. Ross wrote a review article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1999 titled "Atherosclerosis: An Inflammatory Disease." Atherosclerosis is simply hardening of the arteries. This leads to heart attacks and strokes. He states in this article that heart disease is not caused by too much cholesterol in your blood stream, but, instead, is the result of a prolonged, low-grade inflammation of your arteries. In fact, over 50% of the patients suffering from a heart attack actually have normal cholesterol levels. We have been told for nearly a generation that the problem is really just cholesterol. Certainly, this is what the pharmaceutical industry hopes you believe. The medical literature clearly indicates that heart disease is NOT a disease of cholesterol.

There are over 1.5 million heart attacks and over 750,000 deaths due to heart attacks in the US each year. Heart disease remains the number one killer in the US and the industrialized world, even though we are spending billions of dollars each year on cholesterol-lowering drugs. While there are several studies that prove taking statin drugs can lower your risk of having a heart attack, researchers are not sure whether this is the result of lower cholesterol levels or the anti-inflammatory properties of the statin.

Source: Dr. Strand Health Nuggets (