What your doctor isn’t telling you about heart health
Did you know that over 1.5 million angioplasties and coronary bypass surgeries are performed in the US every year - making heart surgery the most common surgical procedure for men and women? Even more concerning, the majority of heart surgeries are actually unnecessary. According to board-certified cardiologist Dr Michael Ozner, they don't prolong lives nor do they prevent subsequent heart disease. Read on for what your doctor isn't telling you about your heart health.
Heart surgery statsAmericans are seven times more likely to undergo coronary angioplasty and bypass surgery than people in Canada and Sweden, but the number of people who die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in these countries is equivalent to the US. What does that tell you? Dr Michael Ozner, author of The Great American Heart Hoax: Lifesaving Advice Your Doctor Should Tell You About Heart Disease Prevention, blames it on the self-interests of profit-centric hospitals and cardiology industry, who have made it their business to perform as many - expensive - heart surgeries and diagnostic tests as possible, despite the fact bypass surgery and angioplasty have never been shown to significantly lengthen life or decrease heart attacks. "It concerns me that countless patients are subjected every day to unnecessary (potentially harmful) surgery," says Dr Ozner, who is one of the leading advocates of heart disease prevention in the US. "Although cardiologists hasten to assure their patients that these procedures are time-tested and safe, all invasive surgery carries risk." According to the medical director of Wellness & Prevention at Baptist Health South Florida, the mortality rate from bypass surgery ranges from 3 to 5 percent (significant if you consider the number of people who get the surgery), an estimated 25 to 30 percent of angioplasties fail and need to be redone, and eventually many angioplasty patients will require bypass surgery. Equally concerning, 80 percent of patients who get bypass surgery experience cognitive difficulties and are nearly four times more likely to suffer a subsequent stroke. Plus, surgery makes them more vulnerable to infections.
What can heart patients do?Dr Ozner, who also wrote The Miami Meditteranean Diet, advocates — citing numerous studies - lifestyle changes and cardiac medication when appropriate, since these approaches to heart disease have been proven to prolong life and prevent heart disease. Most important, the heart doctor advocates prevention before heart disease develops. (Read Dr Ozner's 10-step heart disease prevention program.) Dr Ozner says one of the most optimal approaches to heart heart is following the Mediterranean-style diet and lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet is low in saturated fat and processed food and is renowned for its association with a low incidence of heart disease. Dr Ozner explains, "Since coronary heart disease is a metabolic disorder, involving cholesterol and other risk factors, it requires a metabolic, not surgical solution." Here are some Mediterranean recipes to start cooking today: Make a healthy Mediterranean meal
Mediterranean recipe: Saucy Shrimp and Scallops
Mouthwatering Mediterranean meals