By Kennedy Shelley
America spent nearly three billion dollars on unnecessary heart stents last year.
This despite several major studies that show the procedure just doesn’t work except for a small group of patients who have severe heart issues.
Even late President Bush received an elective heart stent after the Lancet (one of the leading medical journals in the world) published a systematic review showing the procedure did not help or prevent heart attacks.
In 2010 Abbot Labs who make most of the equipment used in heart stents sponsored a study called Excel which looked at stents or heart surgery for low-risk patients.
2000 patients were recruited, half received stents, half had open heart surgery to try and unclog the left arteries to the heart.
These are the arteries that can cause major problems. When blood flow is low on the left side of the heart, it causes angina and people start to get fatigued quickly. Simply put, blocked blood flow to the heart hurts everything.
The study then tracked those patients to see who had heart attacks, strokes or died.
But the Abbott funded study “cooked the books” by changing the definition of a heart attack.
The result was that the New England Journal of Medicine published that the study showed open heart surgery and stents were equally effective.
And because stents create fewer complications, there was even more reason to push stents.
But hold on, what was the new definition of heart attacks that this study used?
When the data was looked at again using the “universal” definition of a heart attack, it was shown that the stent patients were at 80% higher risk of having a heart attack.
This type of public relations fraud is repent in medical reporting today. (See this article in Freedom Health News).
The retired editors of the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association have all reported that Big Pharma dominates medicine so much now that they don’t believe any studies being reported.
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” —Dr. Marcia Angell
What has been made clear is that Big Pharma is once again putting people’s health at risk in pursuit of profits. By misleading surgeons into believing a stent is just as effective as open-heart surgery is leading people to an early and unnecessary grave.
For every 100 open heart surgery patients who died, 135 died who had the stent.
That means that 35 more people would still be living if they had the open-heart surgery procedure.
Yet Abbot Labs has been telling surgeons to use a stent even though it will kill many more people.
One of the authors, Professor David Taggert from Oxford University withdrew his support of the paper because he saw the fraud.
Surgeon groups are now withdrawing their support of stents too.
This is just one more egregious example of big medicine pushing their profits before patients again.