Ignoring your heart scan is medical negligence

I continue to be dumbfounded that many doctors continue to pooh-pooh or ignore CT heart scans when people get them.

I can't count the number of people I've seen or talked to through the Track Your Plaque program who've been told to ignore their heart scan scores. The most extreme example was a man whose physician told him his heart scan score of nearly 4000 was nothing to worry about!


A real-life story of a retired public defense attorney whose heart scan score of 1200 was ignored, followed two years later by sudden unstable heart symptoms and urgent bypass prompted us to write this fictitious lawsuit. Though it's not real, it could easily become real. To our knowledge, no single act of ignorance about heart scans has yet prompted such a lawsuit, but it's bound to happen given the number of scans being performed every year and the continued stubbornness of many physicians to acknowledge their importance.



Major Malpractice Class Action Lawsuit Looms for Doctors Who Ignore Heart Scan Tests

It's been several years since new medical discoveries have debunked old theories regarding heart disease and heart attack and have verified the efficacy of CT heart scans for detecting both early and advanced heart disease. Doctors who fail to keep apprised of these finding or refuse to change their practice for financial reasons put themselves at risk for becoming defendants in a major malpractice class action lawsuit. The plaintiffs will be a growing class of persons who were debilitated by avoidable heart attacks and heart procedures and the heirs and estates of those who have died.
Milwaukee , WI (PRWEB) November 29, 2005 -- This press release outlines a template for a potential class action lawsuit that may be on the horizon for the medical industry. The class of plaintiffs for this theoretical action remains latent but is growing on a daily basis. However, it requires only one such plaintiff to find an attorney who recognizes the scale and magnitude of the potential damages and move forward on a contingency basis. In real terms, this class could include 80% of those who had a heart attack, underwent a heart procedure, or subsequently died. According to the latest American Heart Association statistics, this number is estimated to be a least 865,000 persons and the entire class could easily be 10 times that number. Using a conservative estimate of $500,000 in damages per class member, the total damages could exceed $400 billion.

The plaintiffs, defendants, third parties, and facts surrounding the following moot complaint represent an actual incident. The names, specific health information, and dates have been changed to protect potential litigants.

Plaintiff, through his attorneys, brings this action on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, and on personal knowledge as to himself and his activities, and on information and belief as to all other matters, based on investigation conducted by counsel, hereby alleges as follows:

NATURE OF THE ACTION

1.Plaintiff brings this class action on behalf of himself and all other persons who suffered physical damages or mental distress as a result of receiving a medical diagnosis indicating they had no identifiable heart disease, elevated risk for heat attack, or who were prescribed medications not suited to treat their heart disease once detected.

2.Substantial and irrefutable medical evidence has established that cardiac stress testing is an ineffective method for detecting heart disease of the type that is the root cause in over 90% of all heart attacks and other complications of heart disease that result in death or debilitating injury. A readily available and well-publicized test known as “CT heart scanning” is capable of detecting virtually all heart disease of this nature. It has also been established that simple cholesterol testing often fails to detect persons like likely to develop serious heart disease and prevents them from receiving common treatments capable of reducing or eliminating the source of their undetected heart disease. Readily available blood testing techniques exist that are capable of detecting non-cholesterol related sources of heart disease.

3.The medical community has made significant investments in outdated methods of detecting and treating heart disease. They rely on the revenue streams generated by providing these treatments to persons whose heart disease has progressed to the stage that intervention is required to prevent death or debilitation. Any change in diagnostic or treatment methods resulting in the prevention of heart disease would require substantial investments in new technologies and would severely reduce the market for current treatments. Plaintiffs believe this is a motivating factor in the neglect and willful suppression of readily available technology capable of detecting and preventing heart disease and represents gross medical malpractice.

SUBSTANTIVE ALLEGATIONS

On January 23, 1999, Plaintiff underwent a CT Heart Scan which was interpreted by a cardiologist at the ABC Scan Center . Plaintiff received a report from the Scan Center cardiologist indicating that his “calcium score” placed him in the top 1% for heart attack risk among men in his age group. The report also included the comment “Patient has a high risk of having at least one major stenosis (50% or greater blockage) in his Left Anterior Descending (LAD) artery and is urged to consult with a physician regarding this finding.”

On March 3, 1999 Plaintiff presented Defendant with the results of the January 23, 1999 CT Heart Scan. Defendant told Plaintiff to disregard the CT Heart Scan Results and ordered a physical including a stress test and cholesterol blood test.

On April 1, 2005, Plaintiff had a heart attack and a subsequent coronary angiography that confirmed multiple obstructive coronary plaques in his LAD. Plaintiff received an emergency balloon angioplasty to relieve his acute condition. Substantial damage to plaintiff's heart was incurred before emergency angioplasty could be instituted.

On April 3, 2005, per Defendant's recommendation, Plaintiff underwent open heart surgery to insert three bypasses in his LAD to resolve substantial obstructive heart disease, the same artery identified as having likely obstructive heart disease over 5 years earlier via CT heart scan.

On July 7, 2005, Plaintiff independently obtained additional blood testing not ordered by Plaintiff and was found to have several additional blood abnormalities not discovered by Defendant that are known to contribute to the development of heart disease and were readily treatable using lifestyle changes, nutritional supplements, and prescription drugs.

As early as September, 1996, the American Heart Association (AHA) issued a “Scientific Statement” to health professionals acknowledging the strong link between heart attacks and high calcium scores in asymptomatic patients. Extensive studies and references have confirmed the ineffectiveness of stress testing to reveal early heart disease in asymptomatic patients.

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant failed to utilize readily available medical tests and protocols to identify, aggressively treat, and potentially delay, halt, or reverse advanced heart disease that later resulted in extensive physical and emotional trauma to the Defendant.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff herein demands judgment:

A. Declaring this action to be a proper class action maintainable pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and declaring Plaintiff to be a proper Class representative;

B. Awarding damages against each defendant, joint and severally, and in favor of Plaintiff and all other members of the Class, in an amount determined to have been sustained by them, awarding money damages as appropriate, plus pre-judgment interest;

C. Awarding Plaintiff and the Class the costs and other disbursements of this suit, including without limitation, reasonable fees for attorneys, accountants, experts; and

JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by jury.
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Is pomegranate juice healthy?

Is pomegranate juice healthy?


Pomegranate juice, 8 oz:

Sugars, total 31.50 g

Sucrose 0.00 g

Glucose (dextrose) 15.64 g

Fructose 15.86 g




In your quest to increase the flavonoids in your diet, do you overexpose yourself to fructose?

Remember: Fructose increases LDL cholesterol, apoprotein B, small LDL, triglycerides, and substantially increases deposition of visceral fat (fructose belly?). How about a slice of whole grain bread with that glass of pomegranate juice? The Heart Association says it's all low-fat!


(Coming on the Track Your Plaque website: A full in-depth Special Report on fructose in all its glorious forms and whether this is truly an issue for your health. Fructose tables and the scientific data to establish a safe "threshold" value will be included.)

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Comments (20) -

  • Anonymous

    7/19/2009 1:45:42 PM |

    all should keep in mind that 4 grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon.  31 grams is 7 teaspoons plus; not exactly what one would think in what is promoted to be a healthful product!

  • John

    7/19/2009 2:15:04 PM |

    Like most juices, pomegranate juice just has too much sugar.  There is a reason why a juice glass is very small!

    I don't buy pomgrante juice anymore, and when I did I would water it down.  100% is very expensive too.

    Another thing about pomegranate juice, people might be surprised to find that many of them are not 100% pomegranate, but a blend of several juices.

  • Andrew

    7/19/2009 3:59:34 PM |

    At what point do the positive health benefits of pomegranate outweigh the bad parts of fructose?

  • Tom

    7/19/2009 4:20:58 PM |

    Thanks for your great blog! Your information on wheat and sugar is a must read for anyone serious about their health. I like your blog so much, I added a link to it at my blog at http://eatingandfasting.blogspot.com/

  • Anonymous

    7/19/2009 6:07:12 PM |

    Dr. Davis,

    Are you implying that there is no difference between a glass of Kool-ade and a glass of fresh Orange Juice?

    IMO, the problem is not fructose. The problem is highly refined sugar sources that are isolated from their highly complex natural matrix of fiber, vitamins, minerals, flavanoids, antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids--all which act in synergy together.

    That's why PJ reduced atherosclerosis by 35% compared to control group, lowered BP by 20%, increased antioxidant status, and did not raise blood sugar.

    (FYI, I happen to have heterozygous FH and drink daily one full glass of PJ along with one full glass of concord grape juice, and 97% of my LDL particle size remains large, my blood sugar is perfect, and my apo B is not too high. I do avoid refined sugars and carbs, however.)

    So please, Dr. Davis, don't compare an apple with a candy bar.

  • AJ

    7/20/2009 4:52:14 AM |

    Guava juice used to be my particular poison - literally speaking. But it's just not worth the hit to my metabolism. It's been awhile since I last drank any fruit juice and it will be never before I drink it again.

    It's an uphill battle to get people to realise the dangers of fructose, particularly when food manufacturers are allowed to put "No sugar added" on the label. Have them put the grammes of sugars the whole bottle contains on the front of the container in large bright type. It won't stop everyone, but it may help a few people make healthier choices.

  • JC

    7/20/2009 10:55:48 AM |

    Pomegranate juice more than triples PSA doubling time.Is that significant?

  • Peter

    7/20/2009 1:56:43 PM |

    I like to dilute the pomegranate juice with vodka.  That way I only use a couple of ounces of juice at a time, minimizing the fructose but still getting some flavanoids.  Of course once the long term study on this regimen comes out I may have to revise my view.

  • Dr. William Davis

    7/21/2009 3:28:52 AM |

    It's the same flawed logic of "healthy whole grains": If it contains something good (B vitamins, fiber), then it must be good. And it must be even better when consumed in greater quantities.

    Just because it contains one or two desirable ingredients doesn't mean that the entire "package" is desirable,

  • niner

    7/21/2009 5:00:09 AM |

    There's always pomegranate extracts.  You can get the polyphenols in a pill without all the sugar.  I'd be interested in what Dr. D thinks about this form of "sugar-free pomegranate".

  • JC

    7/21/2009 11:19:40 AM |

    Dr Davis,What about the research on pomegranate juice and PSA doubling time?

    Can you also comment on the reported benefits of cranberry juice in preventing urinary infection?

    Thanks,JC

  • Jonathan Byron

    7/21/2009 3:12:18 PM |

    You are absolutely right that fruit can contain large amounts of fruit sugar, and that large amounts of fructose can have serious consequences. The idea that fruit juice must be good (in any quantity) is not supported by the evidence.

    But fruits are more than sugar and moderate amounts of fruits and fructose are not inherently bad - the question is what is reasonable. For those of us with fatty liver, certain patterns of dyslipidemia, or a GI fructose intolerance, the ideal amount is very low. For those who don't fall into that category, the ideal amount of fruit is somewhat greater (but probably less than most people assume).

  • Anna

    7/22/2009 10:22:04 PM |

    I can't remember the last time I saw someone outside my household drink juice from a small juice glass.  Most people I see drinking juice are consuming quantities of juice that practically rival a 7-Eleven Big Gulp.

    Many days I squeeze a half orange to make a couple ounces of OJ to mix with cod liver oil to make the CLO palatable for my young son.  

    To fill a 4 oz juice glass (with about 3-3.5 oz juice), it takes 1-2 oranges, which means that larger glasses of OJ contain the sugar of a whole lot of oranges!  Who would ever eat that many whole oranges in one sitting?

    Also, I know from using a glucose meter that OJ sugar is nearly instantly into my blood stream (and that isn't even measuring the affect of the fructose portion of sugars.  The glucose spikes an insulin response and later a nasty feeling low BG.  So I approach fruit juices with extreme caution and limitations on both quantity and frequency.  I eat whole lower sugar fruits in extreme moderation (avoiding higher sugar tropical fruits).  I focus more on non-starchy veggies rather than fruit, anyway, because veggies are high in the nutrients I want without the excess sugar that fruit has.        

    Not long ago I was in waiting in line at a Starbucks to order an Americano (lack of local coffee shops at that particular suburban area) and right next to me a dad was reading aloud to his young daughter the number of grams of sugar from her “fresh-squeezed 100% fruit juice” bottle label. He noted incredulously there were 30-something grams of sugars per serving and there were 2.5 servings per bottle. He said  â€œwow, that’s a lot of sugar in that bottle”. I thought to myself, wow, here’s a dad who is “getting it”, so I said to him, “there’s 4 grams of sugar to a teaspoon, so that’s at least 7-9 teaspoons of sugar per serving, very nearly the sugar content in soda.”

    His response was, “but it’s fruit sugar, and she doesn’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, so I guess that’s ok.” Sigh. I let it go, and ordered my Americano (unsweetened).

    I've had many interesting conversations with a glycobiologist colleague of my husband's.  He has confirmed I'd be wise to keep all sources of fructose intake to a minimum, as well as being especially wary of concentrated sources of fructose.    I'm sure he follows his own advice; he's looks at least 15 years younger than his 60 years - lack of AGEing, I guess.

  • trinkwasser

    7/29/2009 6:04:30 PM |

    Tell this stuff to a dietician and they won't believe you "but it's low fat!"

    My BG meter tells me fruit juice is an exceedingly toxic substance, and most of my once favourite fruits aren't much better.

    Fortunately it permits me to eat a few berries, but I'd rather get my bioflavinoids etc. from vegetables.

    IMO there's a balancing point between the beneficial and non-beneficial properties of many foods, we probably evolved to deal with small acute doses of toxins but fall apart with chronic exposure to high levels of the same stuff, and all the bioflavinoids and vitamins don't outweigh the damage.

    I just stuffed some strawberries in my face following my lamb chops and runner beans, but only a few, and I washed them down with a fine Bordeaux, that'll about achieve a balance.

  • Barrry

    2/22/2010 12:58:33 PM |

    i have been using Pomegranate juice for 3 years every day after i had 2 stents placed. i also had type 2 diabetes. It has worked very well for me and has not effected my A1c in the least. My cardilogical nuclear studies have been perfect. i am a believer my opinion this stuff can save your life.

  • EMR

    2/24/2010 1:33:43 PM |

    ink it should be avoided by sugar patients.It contains almost a spoon of sugar...though with wheat bread the whole effect of the meal is balanced.

  • Anonymous

    3/8/2010 3:03:37 PM |

    http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Pomegranate-juice-shows-possible-diabetes-benefits

    Quit being sugar paranoid.

  • buy jeans

    11/3/2010 3:09:20 PM |

    Remember: Fructose increases LDL cholesterol, apoprotein B, small LDL, triglycerides, and substantially increases deposition of visceral fat (fructose belly?). How about a slice of whole grain bread with that glass of pomegranate juice? The Heart Association says it's all low-fat!

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