By Terry Carter and Steve Rogers
More than 600,000 Americans die annually due to heart attacks. For more than 30 percent of them, their fatal cardiac arrest was their first event, according to a hard-hitting Netflix documentary airing now.
Does heart disease run in your family or a friend’s family? If so, find “The Widowmaker” on Netflix and learn what some physicians may not be sharing with you about prevention and a coronary artery scan for calcium. Additionally consider that heart attacks and strokes are completely preventable if you take the right steps, cardiologists say.
Some solutions, however, are not included in the documentary. I will explain later.
The 600,000 number exceeds the number of annual deaths from all cancers combined. Millions of lives have been lost while heart disease testing and treatments have improved. According to the documentary, about one-third of heart attack patients are asymptomatic. In other words, they had no signs of heart disease before the fatal episode.
In some cases, the asymptomatic heart attacks happen to lean, athletic people who eat healthy, exercise 5-7 days a week and appear in great shape. They had zero indicators of an unhealthy heart, doctors and patients on the documentary stated. More women die of heart attack than men, and five times as women die of heart attack than breast cancer.
“The Widowmaker” is essentially a documentary about the battle between finding heart disease before cardiac arrest starts or treating it with a stent or by-pass surgery after that initial heart attack. That strategy, if my math is correct, allows for nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. to die annually because they don’t live long enough to undergo potentially life-saving by-pass or stent surgery.
If, as the documentary portrays, insurance companies cover a $30,000 stent operation, but do not cover a $200 coronary artery scan, that is bad news for prevention.
But Texans have an advantage over much of the nation in that a 2009 bill called the Texas Heart Attack Prevention Bill was signed into state law by Texas Governor Rick Perry. The law requires insurance companies to pay for CT scans and ultrasound tests that can detect heart disease, particularly plaque and calcium deposits that clogs blood vessels like the coronary arteries. Age ranges and health conditions exist, so check this out before you march in and demand full re-imbursement.
Other states have not introduced such a measure, which is still debated between legislators, medical professionals and insurance companies. Texas apparently stands as the first exception to the logic that treating a heart attack may be better than preventing it. But it is a battle that has cost thousands of lives since the test was created.
While I will not be a physician, I know common sense when I see it. Prevention is better. The CT scan and the ultrasound of the heart are very helpful in current analysis, even when a stress test and EKG have failed to find an heart issue. Watch “The Widowmaker” carefully.
In the name of prevention, it is also important to eat the right foods, not just any healthy diet. I have run across supplements that help diabetics like myself, and diabetics are more likely to have heart disease. Additionally I have researched and uncovered with the assistance of forward-thinking medical professionals, diets and supplementation options that should become a daily part of the every man and woman’s diet with no exceptions.
Again, I ask you: Do you have heart disease in your family? Or do you have a friend, neighbor or co-worker who has mentioned a heart attack or stroke in their family? That covers a majority of families in America, by the way.
If so, take unreasonable action today and stop sitting on your butt waiting for your first — and possibly last — cardiac arrest event. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for simple details that may help enormously that your medical professional either doesn’t know or may not share. I have total respect for physicians, and I have learned they are brilliant in many areas. But nutrition and prevention are not high on that list.
Get the tests mentioned above today. If you live in Texas, the tests must be covered by your insurance. Even out-of-pocket cost on one test is around $200.
Then email me for a plan that can keep you out of the hospital.