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Heart Failure Hospitalizations Are Up 131% in Three Decades

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The American Heart Association’s annual scientific session in New Orleans this month heard the presentation of a Drexel University study showing that the hospitalization rate for heart failure among older Americans increased dramatically over the past three decades. The number of women hospitalized for heart failure increased 55% annually; for men, the figure was 20%. People aged 85 and older had four times the risk of being hospitalized for heart failure compared to those aged 65 to 74. Heart failure hospitalization remains the number one reason Americans over the age of 65 are hospitalized.

A growing number of clinicians point to the bestselling family of drugs—statin drugs, first patented in 1987—as a key link to the increasing rate of heart failure. The depletion of coenzyme Q-10 by the use of statin drugs has been linked to congestive heart failure by many researchers, notably Peter Langsjoen, M.D., who ten years ago published his findings that the development of congestive heart failure was directly related to the use of statin drugs.
Clearly there are many risk factors that lead to congestive heart failure, including inactivity, but the study’s authors indicate the trend will get worse as the US population continues to age. The FDA continues to ignore a May 2002 petition to issue a medication guide with statin drugs, though Canada has already adopted that guide as standard procedure.
Additionally, research is currently being conducted on the use of d-ribose (a dietary supplement) to reduce the need for subsequent hospitalization for heart failure. The science behind this nutrient is profound yet is often overlooked by conventional medicine.
Learning of these underpublicized health risks, savvy consumers in increasing numbers are seeking the advice and counsel of integrative practitioners, who risk the ire of medical licensing boards to practice because they do not favor the “prescriptions-and-procedures approach” to health. It is time for someone to speak out, time to change the laws that restrict patient choice and practitioners’ ability to provide the best quality care, time to allow for advancements in healthcare unrestrained by institutional bias or fee.

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