November 26, 2015

Cardiologists Creating a Bad Rap for Themselves

I won't go as far as the headline on this article, but it still raises some issues that are valid. We as patients need to be concerned about the behavior of cardiologists and their proclivity to prescribe statins. We also need to be cautious with other doctors that push statins.

When this article appeared, Allen called me and asked if I had received it. When I answered yes, he was happy that I had and related to me something he had not disclosed to the rest of us. He said that a cousin of his had gone to a doctor because of a heart arrhythmia and was taken into an operation to put a pace maker in him. Normally everything should have gone normally, but during the operation, his cousin had passed and they were unable to revive him.

The doctors wanted his wife to immediately transfer him to the crematorium as he had requested if something went wrong. Allen said the wife had refused as she wanted a complete autopsy and had the funeral home take possession of the body. A few days later when the autopsy was complete, Allen learned that the arrhythmia was a minor problem, and that he was severely deficient in magnesium and potassium.

After reading the article, I could understand Allen's anger. It is widely understood that too little magnesium, potassium, or iron can cause arrhythmia, but apparently, many cardiologists seldom test for this.

I asked Allen if his cousin was on a statin and Allen said yes. He added that his cousin's wife was now sorry she had encouraged him to stay on the statin. Allen said his cousin's wife had sent him a copy of the autopsy, but he did not understand all of it, but he had thanked her for the autopsy and having it done, as it showed that the cardiologist had probably made a huge mistake.

His wife said that she had contacted an attorney, but still was not sure what could be accomplished.

Allen said he could not see from the autopsy anything about CoQ10 like the article stated about statins depleting the body's CoQ10. Allen said he was happy that he had stopped the statin a couple of years earlier because he now does not trust his doctor to even consider this. Allen said he almost laughed at the statement in the article - “Statin use has become what appears to us to be a kind of religion, an unchallengeable article of faith among some doctors.”

The article is very uncomplimentary to cardiologists. It says heart operations are big business. They produce about $100 billion in revenue per year. Hospitals and doctors depend on this revenue. It may be clouding their judgment.

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