Life Extension Magazine

Life Extension Magazine May 2007

As We See It

A Lethal Misconception of Epidemic Proportion

By William Faloon

By William Faloon

Protect Your Arteries Against Today’s Lethal Misconceptions

If you rely on mainstream doctors to be your sole health advisor, your longevity could be in serious jeopardy. Based on their consistent bias against dietary supplements, the media appears to function as a mouthpiece for the pharmaceutical industry, whose profits are threatened when people choose low-cost supplements like folic acid.

Conventional doctors routinely prescribe statin drugs that reduce cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) while sometimes boosting beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Although more people take cardiac drugs than ever before, hundreds of thousands of Americans still perish each year from heart failure while under a doctor’s care.

Many cardiac patients do require medications to stay alive. The obvious limitation of these drugs is that they address only a few of the many underlying causes of heart attack and stroke.

Since the early 1980s, Life Extension has advised its members to have annual blood tests to identify disease risk factors that can be reversed before serious illness develops. The value of these blood tests in preventing future disease and premature death is incalculable.

The problem people still encounter is that their doctors refuse to prescribe blood tests for important vascular markers such as fibrinogen, homocysteine, and C-reactive protein. The cost of these tests is also expensive at commercial labs. Eleven years ago, Life Extension resolved this problem by offering blood tests at discounted prices directly to its members.

Once a year, we reduce our everyday low prices. Until May 31, 2007, we are discounting all blood tests so that members can obtain comprehensive blood evaluations at a fraction of the price charged by commercial laboratories.

Whether you use your own doctor, a commercial laboratory, or our blood testing service, I continue to encourage members to have their blood tested at least once a year.

Multiple Blood Markers of Cardiovascular Risk
Reported in the New England Journal of Medicine

A study was done on 3,209 participants to assess the predictive value of 10 different blood markers of cardiovascular risk. Foundation members are familiar with some of the markers measured in this study, such as homocysteine, C-reactive protein, and fibrinogen. Some of the lesser-known markers used in this study (such as B-type natriuretic peptide) are usually reserved for patients with severe congestive heart failure.

After a median duration of 7.4 years, those with high multi-marker scores of cardiac risk had a risk of death that was a startling four times greater than those with low multi-marker scores. Over this same period, those with higher multi-marker scores had almost twice the risk of major cardiovascular events compared to those with low markers.145

Despite these remarkable findings showing the value of testing a wide range of cardiovascular risk markers, the doctors who conducted this study viewed the results as only moderate compared to conventional screening. Their recommendation was that while certain groups could benefit from more extensive testing, the costs did not yet warrant this kind of extensive screening in the general population.

We at Life Extension vehemently disagree with this “do-nothing” conclusion, especially when considering that relatively little was done to correct many of these proven risk factors in study subjects with high multi-marker scores.

In other words, this study measured non-standard cardiovascular risk markers such as C-reactive protein, homocysteine, fibrinogen, kidney impairment, and markers of endothelial dysfunction. Since the purpose of the study was to measure how many people with high multiple risk factors died or suffered significant cardiac events, nothing other than standard cardiac drugs were used to protect against the many deadly factors that were identified.

For longer life,
image
William Faloon

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