Thursday, June 28, 2012

Will The Polypill Prevent Your Heart Attack?

Giving the polypill to everybody above the age of 55 kills two birds with one stone: cardiovascular risk and preventive medicine. That's what the proponents of the polypill say. The medical establishment is in uproar. Here is why you should be, too. But for a different reason. [tweet this].
We are typically sold on the notion, that heart disease and stroke have become today's major killer, for one simple reason: We live far longer than our ancestors of a hundred years ago, whose major cause of death were infectious diseases. Their eradication has brought upon us the blessings of longer lives, and with it the detriments of aging related cardiovascular disease. It's root cause is elevated cholesterol, a theory enshrined in the so-called lipid hypothesis. Questioning it is to the medical establishment what Galileo's theories were to the catholic church: plain heresy. After all, cholesterol lowering drugs, the statins, are a blessing to mankind and substantial reducer of cardiovascular death. 
This is what nearly everyone believes.
Print Friendly and PDFPrintPrint Friendly and PDFPDF

Monday, June 25, 2012

Why Risk Screening For Heart Disease Is As Good As Crystal Ball Gazing

If weather forecasts were as reliable as cardiovascular risk prediction tools, meteorologists would miss two thirds of all hurricanes, expect rain for 8 out of 10 sunny days, and fail to see the parallels to fortune telling.    

When you are older than 35 and visit your doctor, there is a good chance he will evaluate your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke over the next 10 years. The motivation behind this risk scoring is to prevent such an event while you still can. After all, these cardiovascular diseases are the number one causes of disability and death. In Europe alone 1.8 Million people die from it every year. In fact, they die prematurely, which means at an age younger than 75. [tweet this].
Print Friendly and PDFPrintPrint Friendly and PDFPDF

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Are You A Unique Medical Case?

Research says yes, public health doesn't listen, and you suffer the consequences: too little benefits from generic interventions. And it could be so simple.

Print Friendly and PDFPrintPrint Friendly and PDFPDF

Monday, June 18, 2012

10 Good Reasons Not To Exercise?

Exercise may actually be bad for you! A professor says he stumbled upon this "potentially explosive" insight. The New York Times has been quick to peddle it. And couch potatoes descend on it like vultures on road kill. But professors can get it wrong, too. 
Print Friendly and PDFPrintPrint Friendly and PDFPDF

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why You Should Arm Your Bullshit Alarm Before Reading Diet News.

In the fight over best diet for health and weight loss, it's protein lovers vs. vegetarian zealots. So far, a clear winner has not emerged. Only one loser: you, the victim of biased research. Here is an example of why you should keep your bullshit alarm on high alert when reading about weight loss diets.  
[tweet this].

Ellen M. Evans and colleagues wanted to know whether overweight men and women differ in their body composition responses to different weight loss diets [1]. So they enrolled 58 men and 72 women with a BMI greater than 26, and randomized them into two diet groups.
Print Friendly and PDFPrintPrint Friendly and PDFPDF

Monday, June 11, 2012

Can Chocolate Save You From Heart Attack?

The media says yes. Science says maybe. In the end, you decide. Here are the facts:

A truffle treatment for heart disease is imminent. That's what a recent article suggests, headlined in the New York Daily News as: "Dark chocolate cuts heart deaths; Study shows benefits for high risk cardiac patients." 

The funny thing is, the cited  study does not show what the media geniuses claim it does. So, let's look at this master piece of research journalism and ...
Print Friendly and PDFPrintPrint Friendly and PDFPDF

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Can A Genetic Test Say Why You Are Fat?

With the decoding of the human genome came the hope of getting a lever on the chronic diseases, which kill most of us today: heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many cancers. And since overweight and obesity are a common cause of those diseases, many obese people were, and still are, yearning for that exculpatory headline: "It's all in your genes!" Why and how this headline is unlikely to ever appear in any serious media, was a subject of my earlier post "It's not your genes, stupid!".

Now, a group of researchers have looked at the data of a 30-year investigation of health and behavior, ...
Print Friendly and PDFPrintPrint Friendly and PDFPDF

Monday, June 4, 2012

No Time To Exercise? You Are Not Alone!

Lack of time is the most often cited excuse for not exercising. I deliberately chose the word "excuse" over its less judgmental alternative "obstacle". Simply because I cannot see an "obstacle" when I compare two simple metrics: the hours people spend watching TV and the minutes needed to maintain one's health with exercise. With high intensity interval training, or HIT, health enhancing exercise can be compressed into an amazingly short amount of time. When done right. [tweet this].
Print Friendly and PDFPrintPrint Friendly and PDFPDF