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Surviving Cardiac Arrest May Depend on Where You Live

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Conventional Medicine Ignores the Science behind Preventing Sudden Cardiac Death with Fish Oil

The U.S. has waged a five-decade war on heart disease thanks to the information gleaned  from the Framingham Study and the studies that followed it. That war has been dominated by the use of prescription drugs, surgery, and procedures that include angioplasty and stents. Everyone agrees that heart disease is related to lifestyle choices. While one may have a genetic predisposition for high lipids or the genetic marker for inflammation, the evidence is clear: we turn genes on and off with the lifestyle choices we make each day. The efficacy of treating heart disease with lifestyle medicine and other techniques like chelation therapy, versus the use of prescriptions and various medical procedures, has been debated for nearly the same five decades. A New York Times article highlighted a growing school of thought that heart disease was more than a plumbing problem.

The large group of integrative healthcare practitioners who utilize lifestyle counseling, chelation, and other therapies to address heart disease have been advocating the use of fish oil as part of a heart-healthy regime for the past twenty-five years. Many of these practitioners, who have long sought to improve the standard of care for heart disease, have been the target of medical licensing boards for their practices. The October 3 issue of the New York Times pointed to the fact that the standard of care in every industrialized country except the U.S. is a prescription for fish oil following a heart attack. Now a new study published in the September 23 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association offers further evidence that cardiac arrest survival could be better in many areas in the U.S.

The leading cause of death in the U.S. (and all developed countries) is sudden cardiac death. The American College of Cardiology’s 2004 Scientific Session showed that where you live may have a huge role to play in your survival following cardiac arrest. The article tracked the number of cardiac arrests in ten locations in the U.S. and Canada—a sample of 21.4 million people. Overall, there were over twenty thousand episodes of cardiac arrest, with an average survival rate of 4.6 percent. The survival rates ranged from a low of 3 percent in Alabama to a high of 16.3 percent in Seattle—a five-fold variation.

At the same time, researchers at Harvard, Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine, the University of Washington, and Washington University’s School of Medicine, as well as research in Italy, Germany, and Australia, indicate that the consumption of omega-3 fish oil is directly related to risk factors such as heart rate variability and heart rate rhythm, and has the effect of reducing the risk of sudden cardiac death. The British Medical Journal reported a reduction in sudden cardiac death by as much as 70% with the consumption of fish oil. Fish oil has a role to play in platelet aggregation, clotting, and inflammation—all of which are factors in heart disease.

Only recently has the American Heart Association changed its position that low-fat was heart-healthy, while integrative practitioners have long empasized that what mattered was the quality and quantity of fat consumed. The conventional approach of prescriptions and procedures has now been questioned by mainstream cardiology, according to the New York Times article.

Click here to Find A Doctor. The AAHF website can be an important resource in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Support the efforts of AAHF to stop the FDA’s stealth attacks on chelation therapy—click here to read more and take action. Support doctors who seek to raise the standard of care for heart disease in this country.

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