Are you more likely to survive a heart attack if your cardiologist is out of town?

January 17, 2015
Volume 5    |   Issue 5

Trick question: Would it be better to have a heart attack at the national gathering of heart specialists or when these doctors are not around?

If you ask doctors this question, they will tell you that you would be far better off to have the heart attack with the heart doctors around. But a new study says they would be wrong!

The researchers conducting this study found that your survival chances are much better if the doctors aren't around. This study compared the treatments and survival rates of cardiac arrest patients and the sickest heart failure patients before, during, and after the national meeting. The results clearly indicated that the patients were far more likely to survive during the meeting than before or after (when the doctors would be around).

The sickest heart attack patients also received fewer invasive procedures while the doctors were away. And even though they didn't have as many invasive procedures, it didn't affect their survival rates.

The 30-day death rates for meeting-day versus non-meeting days patients were:

* 60% versus 70% for cardiac arrests.
* 18% versus 25% for the sickest heart failure patients.
* The sickest heart attack patients: about 39% for both groups.

So what does this mean and what does it have to do with nutrients?

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Dr. Anupam Jena, a Harvard Medical School economist and internist and the study's lead author, said, "The solution is not to get the cardiologists to have meetings every week." He added that identifying specific treatments that were given or not given during meeting times would be a better solution that might lead to better outcomes.

Well, he's partially right. It's impractical to think the cardiologists are going away and staying away. And they definitely need to look at the treatments to see how they can improve on their care of heart patients. But the study illustrates something even more important. Treatment should not be determined by how sick the patient is or what might work to treat the symptoms. The doctors should be looking for the cause of the heart ailment and start there. If they can't figure out the cause, they should always begin with the least invasive and best known causes of heart ailments.

For instance, many cases of heart attack are the result of a severe magnesium deficiency. Simply giving magnesium in the middle of a heart attack can often stop the attack in its tracks. A magnesium deficiency also can cause heart failure. But it also could be a CoQ10 deficiency.

It's not always this easy. And emergencies may require greater intervention. But this study clearly suggests that doctors need to start simple — even with the sickest patients. If you have any kind of heart issue, consider taking magnesium (1,000 mg daily or up to bowel tolerance, whichever is greater). I've seen this reverse many heart ailments — even cases where cardiologists were baffled. If you have heart failure, make sure you're taking CoQ10. I recommend Ubiquinol, as it's easier to absorb than most CoQ10 supplements.

Your insider for better health,

Steve Kroening

Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.



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