It’s Valentines Day, and due to that, this weeks post goes to your Heart!
HEART DISEASE STATISTICS
- About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.
- Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 385,000 people annually.
- Every year about 935,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 610,000 are a first heart attack. 325,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.
- Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion each year.
- This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.
1. Kochanek KD, Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Miniño AM, Kung HC. Deaths: final data for 2009. [PDF-2M] National vital statistics reports. 2011;60(3). 2. Roger VL, Go AS, Lloyd-Jones DM, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2012 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2012;125(1):e2–220. 3. Heidenreich PA, Trogdon JG, Khavjou OA, et al. Forecasting the future of cardiovascular disease in the United States: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2011;123:933-44. Epub 2011 Jan 24.
Less than one generation ago, heart disease and heart attacks were associated with overweight, middle-aged men, who smoked and ate a lot of fried foods. Heart attacks no longer are restricted to this group, an increasing number of females are affected along with young people-high school and college aged—many of who are competitive athletes.
This week we are going to focus on vertebral subluxations and cardiovascular health. In some ways, this will be a good test to see if we have laid a correct foundation in the first six weeks. There is not a ton of research data that shows the effects of VS and things like heart attacks ( at least compared with things like asthma for example) This is why Chiropractic needs to engage in far more “quality of life” type studies —the type of research project that can last 20-30 years if not more and can transcend generations.
The good news is that we don’t have to worry about having to pull out some double blind study from a medical journal to demonstrate the effects of VS on the cardiovascular system, (though some exist). We can just talk straight physiology with people this week (which I have always found is superior to “evidence based” studies.
ASPIRIN AND HEART ATTACKS
A study by the Physicians Health Group concluded that an aspirin a day was an effective preventative treatment against heart attacks. The study was published and carried by leading magazines and newspapers all over the world. The drug industry launched an extensive media campaign promoting this important health discovery.
What the study failed to mention was that is was conducted with buffered aspirin, which contains magnesium. Magnesium is a valuable mineral which has long been associated with the prevention of heart attacks. Follow-up studies revealed that aspirin alone did nothing to prevent heart attacks. Sadly, the results of the follow-up studies received little media attention.
A study in the International Journal of Epidemiology reported that serum magnesium levels are inversely related to the risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Serum magnesium concentration, independent of other risk factors, was inversely associated with death from all causes and from heart disease.
A study in the Lancet reported that magnesium deficiency may also be implicated in coronary heart disease when it was revealed that injections of magnesium sulfate brought about dramatic clinical improvement in patients suffering from heart disease and in many cases the lipoprotein levels were brought back to normal levels.
Should You Take Aspirin to Prevent Heart Attack?
The majority of physicians in the USA recommend aspirin for prevention of first heart attacks to almost everyone over the age of 50, even though women have not been included in the clinical trials of aspirin. While aspirin does prevent about 1/3 of first heart attacks, its side-effects are so severe as to cause a higher death rate overall than placebo. Non-fatal side-effects, such as internal bleeding and cataracts, are significant after years of aspirin use. The major study on which most recommendations are based did not utilize aspirin alone; therefore, the calcium and magnesium present in the buffered aspirin actually taken may have been responsible for some of the beneficial effects. Supplemental magnesium and vitamin E have been shown to be more effective than aspirin in lowering heart attack rates as well as overall death rates. Aspirin does reduce the incident of second heart attacks by about 1/5 when taken for a few weeks. Supplemental magnesium and coenzyme Q10 have been shown to be more effective than aspirin in treatment of cardiovascular disease.
“Some physicians contend that the evidence of aspirin’s efficacy for prevention is overstated and that its risks are underestimated. One vocal critic, John Cleland, MD, said that his interpretation of the data shows that the therapy reduces only the number of diagnosed heart attacks, not attacks overall. In an editorial in the Jan. 12, 2002, British Medical Journal (BMJ), he explained that aspirin merely masks heart attacks, producing a “cosmetic” blip in epidemiological statistics. How could aspirin hide a heart attack? Dr. Cleland, professor of cardiology at the University of Hull in Great Britain, said that 25% of people who have what later turn out to be a heart attack don’t recognize the signs anyway. Because aspirin can be an analgesic, it may further mask those symptoms. In addition, he said, some of the symptoms patients think are dyspepsia caused by aspirin may actually be due to a heart attack.
What does Chiropractic have to do with this?
Here is a chart of the nervous system, I know, it looks scary…but basically what it’s saying is that nerves go to the heart. Some of the nerves speed things up, and some slow things down. My opinion is this….if you have a heart issue, see a heart doctor. However, be educated about your condition, and understand that there is a possibility that the nerves going to your heart could be affecting it.
If you liked this post, please comment below. 🙂
Dr. Lobacz owns and operates Lobacz Chiropractic in Evansville Indiana. If you are looking for a Chiropractor in Evansville Indiana, check out his website here: http://www.lobaczchiropractic.com
** I am a Chiropractor, not a heart doctor. I did find this information interesting, but do not take this post as medical advise. You should do what is best for you in all circumstances.