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Heart failure is the new cancer of our society

A Good Postal Code Leads To Longer Life


By —— Bio and Archives--March 9, 2008

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I’ve just returned from an educational course on Cardiology aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. A sea voyage is a great way to recharge your batteries. And this one also provided an opportunity to listen to a diverse group of international cardiologists discuss the nation’s number one killer. Now I know the importance of one’s postal code and “Matthew’s Law”.  And if you’re looking for a solid investment you can’t miss by buying shares in “The Goliath Casket Company”.

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Dr. Stuart Smith, one of Canada’s leading cardiologists, reported that heart failure is the new cancer of our society. Each year over one million people in North America suffer heart attack. Half of these patients die within an hour. The rest may be left with damaged hearts, susceptible to heart failure later on. 

      Patients suffering from heart failure during the last six months of life usually complain of shortness of breath, fatigue, chronic cough and the fear they’re going to die. But much has been learned in recent years about how to increase their survival rate.

Dr. Smith presented studies showing that patients with this disease live longer if they’re referred to specialists who deal with this problem daily. It’s the old story of “practice makes perfect”.

So never give up if you have a failing heart as it may be like the cat that has nine lives.  Patients close to death often make a surprising recovery, making it difficult time and time again for cardiologists to predict a patient’s longevity. A British study revealed that even specialists were wrong 75 percent of the time in predicting the time of death.

      But why are so many people developing heart failure? It’s because, they say, many North Americans have not learned the importance of “Matthew’s Law”. This law states that it’s the sum of all your bad habits that leads to heart failure.

For instance, Dr. John Woolridge, a prominent cardiologist in Sydney, Australia, described how obesity causes diabetes which in turn results in atherosclerosis, hypertension, heart attack and finally heart failure. One disease so often leads to another   and then another.


Dr. Walter Savage, a San Francisco cardiologist, outlined another way in which Matthew’s Law affects patients with a failing heart. Add the presence of kidney disease and the result is an earlier death. And it’s diabetes that causes 66 percent of kidneys to fail.

So North Americans should have listened years ago to Pogo, the comic strip character, who told us, “We have identified the enemy and the enemy is us!”

        Dr. Smith described a series of situations that showed how the next generation of children is headed for more trouble. They’re becoming obese at an earlier age and the amount of time North American children watch T.V is the highest in the world. Today 91 percent of children have bicycles, but only five percent ride them to school.

      As Dr. Woolridge remarked, “Lack of exercise and supersized food portions results in supersized chairs, with people ending up in caskets made by The Goliath Casket Company, too early in life.

      One way to prevent this end is to improve your postal code. Dr. Smith reported that being rich means you’re more likely to be a non-smoker, not obese, nor suffering from hypertension or high cholesterol. Men residing in good postal codes live six years longer (women three years) than those less well off. Men can also expect more than 14 years free of disabling disease (women eight) by living on the right side of the tracks.

      Any surprises? I was amazed that most cardiologists are not prescribing Coenzyme Q10 for patients taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. These drugs lower the level of this enzyme, which provides energy to the heart’s muscle, by as much as 40 percent. Some researchers believe that failing to prescribe this enzyme may be one reason for the epidemic of heart failure.
     
      It was also surprising that none of the cardiologists believed vitamin C could prevent heart attack. They were unaware that Dr. Sydney Bush in England had reversed   atherosclerosis in retinal arteries by prescribing high doses of C. Nor did they show an open mind by at least considering this treatment. How hard it is to change ingrained opinions!


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Dr. Gifford Jones -- Bio and Archives | Comments

W. Gifford-Jones M.D is the pen name of Dr. Ken Walker graduate of Harvard. Dr. Walker’s website is: Docgiff.com

My book, “90 + How I Got There” can be obtained by sending $19.95 to:
Giff Holdings, 525 Balliol St, Unit # 6,Toronto, Ontario, M4S 1E1

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