Cardiovascular Disease

Overview

Cardiovascular disease is also many times called heart disease, a general term referencing any disease that affects the heart. This is the number one cause of death in the United States. Cardiovascular disease is known more specifically for conditions that involve blocked or narrowed blood vessels that can possibly lead to chest pains, stroke, or heart attack.

Causes of Cardiovascular Disease

There are many different causes depending on what particular disease is being referenced. However, a large amount of cardiovascular diseases involve a fatty build-up of plaque in the arteries that carry oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the body. Due to the build-up in the arteries, these nutrients cannot successfully travel throughout the body and the result is chest pain, stroke, or heart attack.

The main cause of fatty plaque build-up is completely preventable. In summary, an unhealthy lifestyle is the main factor, and that can include lack of exercise, poor diet, obesity, and smoking.

Cardiovascular Disease Studies

A few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) over placebo or "sham surgery" were recorded. In other words, no RCT has ever shown that CABG is better than placebo!

Moerman et al (2002):

  • 67% improvement (subjective) after bil. internal mammary artery ligation (BIMAL)
  • 82% improvement with placebo procedure

Coronary Artery Surgery Study (CASS):

  • 780 patients with mild stable angina
  • 5-year survival and free of infraction in 82% with medical therapy
  • 83% free with patients managed surgically [ J Am Coll Cardiol. 1984 Jan , 3
  • ( 1 ) : 114-128 ]

Bypass surgery in low to moderate risk patients [Lancet 1994 Aug 27;344 (8922):563-70]:

  • Low risk: surgery adds 1.1 months of life
  • Moderate risk: surgery adds 5 months of life
  • High risk: surgery adds 8.8 months of life

The survival advantage between CABG and medical management completely disappeared by 12 years! Up to 18 years, groups had virtually identical survival rates. (Circulation. 1992 ; 86 : 121-130)

Only patients that benefited from CABG: 50% stenosis of left anterior descending artery and 3-vessel disease had survival benefit (Lancet. 1994; 344: 563-570)

There is also no significant advantage of angioplasty patients over CABG, except angioplasty patients required more repeat procedures than bypass patients. Also, PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) provided no benefit over optimal medical therapy [N Eng J Med 356 (15):1503-1516]

2,287 patients with stable coronary artery disease: randomized to PCI + optimal medical therapy, or to optimal medical therapy. There was no difference in outcomes by 36 months [N Eng J Med 359 (7):677-687]

Results with drug-eluting stints resulted in death rates 20-29% higher than CABG. [E Eng J Med 2008 Jan 24; 358 (4):331-341.]

Important Notes about Cardiovascular Disease

Since survivals are largely unaffected by PCI, advocating is now for angina relief rather than preventing heart attacks and death.

Mortality:

  • CABG: 3-4 %

    Costs of CABG: $9 Billion/year

  • Angioplasty: 2.2 %

    Costs of PCI: $27 Billion/year (650,000/year at $40,000)

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Symptoms

Unfortunately, many times symptoms are not seen until the disease is far along. Symptoms are usually precursors to a stroke or heart attack. These signs include shortness of breath, chest pains, and numbness in legs or arms.

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Management

The best possible management is a total lifestyle change including diet, exercise, and avoiding smoke both first-hand and second-hand. However, many times it is too late for this management to work, and further options must be explored.

Conventional management is usually a "plumbing" problem" bypass grafts, or angioplasty with/without stints. This has four major problems:

  1. Dangerous
  2. Painful
  3. Expensive
  4. Largely unnecessary

The Argument for Chelation Therapy in Cardiovascular Disease

117 lower extremities in 77 patients: IV EDTA improved arterial blood flow significantly to legs in 60 days after 26 infusions [Journal of Advancement in Medicine 1989;2 (1 and 2):159-166]

Patients with impaired cerebral blood flow: all 15 patients experienced significant improvement in blood flow after 20 infusions - demonstrated by nuclear blood flow studies at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, CA [Journal of Advancement in Medicine 1989;2 (1 and 2):131-154]

470 patients: 92 awaiting CABG - 82 of 92 patients did not need surgery after or during chelation therapy. In other words, there were no severe side effects or deaths from chelation therapy [Journal of Advancement in Medicine 1993; 6 (3):161-171].

2,870 patients with documented atherosclerosis managed with IV EDTA chelation therapy:

  • Ischemic heart disease: marked improvement in 76.9%; good improvement in 17%
  • Claudication: marked improvement in 91%; good improvement in 8%
  • Cerebrovascular disease: marked improvement in 24%; good improvement in 30% [J of Advancement in Medicine 1989 ; 2 (1 and 2):197-213]

Numerous further references are available, if required, all demonstrating the utility of EDTA CT: in peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and coronary artery disease.

Mechanism of Cardiovascular Disease Action

There are two types of plaque: hard plaque and soft plaque. Soft plaque is vulnerable to free radical damage once it undergoes oxidation.

Chelation therapy reduces free radicals and stabilizes vulnerable plaque. The rupturing of plaque may give rise to emboli, and result in acute occlusion.

Chelation removes toxic metals that trigger free radical formation that is oftentimes catalyzed by iron and copper. Chelation also directly removes free radicals.

Sources of free radicals:

  • Radiation
  • Toxins (pesticides, plastics, etc.)
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Sunlight
  • Fried foods
  • Stress
  • Sugar/refined carbohydrates
  • Toxic heavy metals (cadmium, lead, aluminum, mercury, arsenic)
  • Toxic accumulations of non-toxic heavy metals (calcium, copper, iron)

Indications of EDTA CT:

  • Emergency management of hypercalcemia (sometimes seen in some cancers)
  • Ventricular Arrhythmias associated with digital toxicity
  • Heavy metal toxicity

Contra Indications:

  • Anuria and renal failure
  • Hypersensitivity to any component

A slow infusion of EDTA is necessary since a rapid rate may result in precipitous fall of calcium. It must be administered diluted so there are no side effects on tissues.

Precautions:

  • Postural hypotension
  • Careful when patient in CHF
  • Hypokalemia
  • Hypomagnesemia
  • Lowered blood sugar and insulin requirements in diabetics, especially with patients on long-acting insulin with zinc

At the Houston Wellness Clinic we strongly suggest both a lifestyle change as well as chelation therapy. Overall, it is safe, effective and less expensive than traditional management. Our specialist can sit down with you and explain how and why you should first look at alternative management options like chelation before taking the traditional route.

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If we fill our hours with regrets of yesterday and with worries of tomorrow, we have no today in which to enjoy our existence. Seize the day, and take control of your health and life. How you are going to live those tomorrows will depend on how you act and choose today. - George Allibone M.D.