Common Heart Procedure Linked to Death, Fraud

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

“Yep, the doc says I need two more of those bad boys. And I had three last year… hope this is it… ”

Last week, when catching up with a former colleague, Jerry, he told me the he would be undergoing heart surgery in a few days.

Jerry is a 68-year-old emergency room doctor who’s spent the last five years in and out of the hospital with heart issues. He’s been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, high blood pressure (likely caused by the coronary heart disease) and high cholesterol. Plus, he’s had two heart attacks.

Jerry’s tried it all: statins, exercise, dietary changes, and has had three stents put in his arteries.

Next up, he will have two more stents put in his heart at his cardiologist’s urging.

What Jerry didn’t realize is that if he were taking a specific vitamin, his risk of coronary artery disease would decrease. We will discuss this heart-protective vitamin in just a bit.

First, let’s talk about stents, why they are dangerous and why Jerry’s cardiologist might be so keen to recommend them (hint: It involves money).

--Dangerous Profits

Stents are used in severe cases of coronary artery disease. They’re tiny implants used to widen arteries blocked with plaques made of fats and calcium. These deposits cause arterial stiffness, decrease blood flow and can lead to deadly heart attacks and strokes.

Artery

While stents can be effective at increasing blood flow to the heart, they require invasive surgery, are often implanted incorrectly and can lead to dangerous blood clots, blockages from scar tissue and even death. In fact, the overuse of stents causes death in at least 773 heart disease patients annually.

But what’s even worse — many times, stents are used in patients that truly don’t need them. According to David Brown, a cardiologist at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, two out of three elective stents are unnecessary.

So why would a cardiologist recommended such a dangerous and often unnecessary procedure?

Money.

In the last decade, cardiac stents have cost Americans over $110 billion.

To put this number in perspective, cardiologists can charge around $250 an hour to talk to a patient about stents and more than $1,000 to actually put one in. That might not sound like a crazy amount, but that can quickly add up if you look at the number of folks getting stents.

It’s estimated that over half of the 1.4 million stent procedures done in the U.S were on patients in stable condition. This means over 700,000 stents were used unnecessarily on healthy patients.

To be clear here, the other 700,000 stents implanted were needed. There are some cases in which a stent is the only option, though it’s only about half of the time it’s recommended.

If you ask me, this sound likes fraud — many healthy people are paying for a procedure they absolutely don’t need.

Fortunately, recent research shows there is a natural way to keep plaque out of your arteries, and it doesn’t require invasive surgery or cost you thousands of dollars.

--Say Goodbye to Stents With K2

It’s vitamin K2, and it’s proving to be an essential part of heart health.

You may have heard in the past that vitamin K is good for your heart, but what you may not know is it’s specifically vitamin K2 that’s heart protective

A recent study examined the heart health powers of vitamin K1, which is found in leafy greens and accounts for 90 percent of the vitamin K in the typical Western diet, against vitamin K2, which is found in meat and dairy.

After following 33,289 participants for almost 17 years, the researchers assessed the participants’ dietary intake of both vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. The scientists then correlated the data with the risk of coronary heart disease.

And what they found was astonishing…

Folks who had the highest intakes of vitamin K2 decreased their risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 14 percent!

When you consider how low the average intake of this heart-healthy vitamin is, it makes you wonder how much larger this percentage could be with supplementation or a diet rich in vitamin K2.

Vitamin K2 is so essential to heart health because it helps to draw artery-hardening calcium away from the heart and into the bones. This means taking vitamin K2 not only helps protect your arteries from stiffening mineral plaques, but also helps strengthen your bones.

But vitamin K2 works harder when taken with vitamin D3. You see, D3 helps signal your bones to absorb calcium and grow new bone tissue. So if you’re going to supplement with vitamin K2, be sure you’re also taking vitamin D3 as well. This combination will help keep your arteries clean as a whistle and give your bones steel-like strength.

Not to mention it may keep you from getting a costly, dangerous stent.

Live well,

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily


Sources

[1] What Is a Stent?

[2] Deaths Linked to Cardiac Stents Rise as Overuse Seen

[3] Grass Fed Beef Nutrition

Natalie Moore

Written By Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.

View More Free Articles

Stamped envelopes.

Mailbag! 10 Tips to Conquer Spinal Arthritis

I have arthritis in my spine. What would you suggest to help manage it? –George from Cedar Rapids, IA George, Believe it or not, many people learn that they have spinal arthritis as they age. It’s very common. There’s a lot you can do to help keep it from advancing or even reverse some of...

Read This

Calm Anxiety WITHOUT Drugs (Easy!)

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, There is a plague of anxiety sweeping the nation. And who could blame us? Anyone with half a brain SHOULD feel anxious about the state of the world. But like any other epidemic, just because something is going around doesn’t mean you should accept it. More importantly, having anxiety does...

Read This

“Food Reboot” HALTS Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you or someone you love suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), you already know how the disease can turn your life upside down. The stiffness and mobility problems slowly strip away your independence… and leave you in pain. Talk to your mainstream doc and he’ll just shrug their shoulders –...

Read This

[Men] Do You Have the Breast Cancer Gene?

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you’re a woman, chances are you have heard about the BRCA gene (BReast CAncer gene). Scientists have known for a long time that a mutation in one of two breast cancer genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2, increases the risk of getting breast cancer. But, men, listen up – just because...

Read This

Greek Plant Extract SOOTHES Joint Pain

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Some people might shrug when you tell them you have knee pain… but that’s only if they haven’t experienced firsthand. Chronic pain from osteoarthritis is no joke— it can destroy your life. Joint pain makes moving incredibly difficult and can keep you from doing the things you love. Before you know it,...

Read This

Deadly Disease 8 TIMES More Likely for Crohn’s Patients

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Inflammation is supposed to be a normal response for your body. It’s one of the key defenses protecting you. Inflammation can sometimes be our friend… when it helps fight off infections and clears away debris, that is. The problems start when inflammation blazes out of control or lasts longer than...

Read This

Stamped envelopes.

Mailbag! 5 Ways to Soothe Your Psoriasis

I have psoriasis, and I was wondering what supplements or natural treatments there are out there. –Bill from Riverside, CA Bill, As you probably know, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease where the body attacks the skin as if it were a foreign invader. Psoriasis affects about two percent of the U.S. population. Normal, healthy...

Read This

Coffee Compound LOWERS Cholesterol

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, I’m on a personal mission to rescue coffee from the hands of the nutritional puritans who think that anything fun is not good for you. Despite what the mainstream would have you believe, the news on coffee has improved in recent years. Researchers have pinpointed many powerful plant nutrients, like...

Read This

“Citric Element” Whips Your Brain into Shape!

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Some suggest pretty complicated ways to keep your brain healthy as you age. Going back to college… doing complicated puzzles… taking what feels like 30 bottles of pills a day… It can make you feel like giving up before you’ve even started! But what if there was something MUCH easier...

Read This

100-Year-Old Trick STOPS Arthritis Pain

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you’re tired constantly refilling pain prescriptions, you’re not alone. And if you’re even MORE tired of the side effects that come with them, who could blame you? For far too long, Big Pharma has held arthritis patients hostage… promising relief while they rob you blind. It’s time for something...

Read This