Cardiologists Do Not Inform the Patients
It is all about the Benjamins!
Doctors cover up the truth and only tell patients limited information. Whether it is chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, or any other procedure, patients are kept in the dark.I have discussed this situation in previous blog posts and also in my new book, The Paleo Cardiologist.
Only 3% of patients with stable angina received all the risk/benefit information prior to an angiogram and possible stent procedure, according to a new study. It turns out, the more informed patients are…the LESS likely they are to choose the procedure. The COURAGE trial in 2007 should have opened many eyes to the limited value of stenting. For patients with stable angina (chest pain with activity), stents improve the angina but do not prevent heart attacks or death.
Still, patients AND physicians believe there are more benefits to stenting.The physicians believe it because they are PAID to believe it. Patients believe in stents because they are misled and misinformed.
I know because I worked in this arena and saw it first hand for many years. Only 25% of conversations include an alternative to the stent procedure. Alternatives such a natural supplements, of course, are never discussed. Even the “pharmaceutical only” course is rarely discussed.
But again, once patients were truly informed using seven key elements of informed consent, they declined the procedure more often then not.
In fact, when alternatives were discussed, the patient was nearly 10x as likely, not to choose the procedure. According to the study author Michael Rothberg MD, “Some patients will have anxiety about their symptoms, but if you take away their chest pain with this procedure, you do not take away the risk for a heart attack. The pain is gone but the risk is not, so it’s a false reassurance.”
Furthermore, the evidence shows that after a year chest pain symptoms are similar for patients with stable angina who underwent PCI and those who didn’t, Rothberg said, so the benefit is small.
“What the current study by adds to our understanding of the decision making process is that physicians tend to convey their inaccurate risk perceptions to patients, leading to overstatements about the benefits and minimization of the risks of treatment,” ~Drs. Lin and Redberg of the University of California San Francisco.
“Currently, fee-for-service structures pay physicians more if they order more tests and procedures, decreasing the motivation for limiting such use. An alternative payment model that reimbursed proportionally to expected net benefit would better align incentives toward high-value care and encourage physicians and patients to carefully consider whether medical care of questionable or minimal benefit should be undertaken.”~Drs. Lin and Redberg
There are excellent supplements that can improve symptoms of angina. I have a lot of success with; L-arginine, L-citrulline ; beetroot powder; taurine; and hawthorn. Simple nutrients like magnesium and potassium can do the trick.
Probably the most important thing you can do is change your diet. Go Paleo and see the change. Get rid of the chemicals. I have seen it in my patients for years.