How the Public Was Brainwashed About Heart Disease

The large and systematic prospective studies of the role of multiple so-called "risk factors" for heart disease began in 1947 with Ancel Keys' study on Minnesota business and professional men, which was expanded in 1954 to other countries as well. Keys was one of the "intellectually gifted" students studied by Lewis M. Terman at Stanford University. (Ancel Keys. Wikipedia, accessed 03/03/13.) "The core of investigators was recruited by Ancel Keys and the study coordinated from the Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene, located in offices under Memorial Stadium, Gate 27, at the University of Minnesota. I served as Project Officer in the early years, while Henry Taylor directed the Railroad Study, the U.S. component of the Seven Countries Study. A few years into the study, central coordination of data was shifted to Alessandro Menotti at the University of Rome. All field studies were carried out under the aegis of a National Heart Institute grant. Local support was always substantial, however, in that the central grant only averaged about $25,000 a year per collaborating center. Both public and private sources, as well as the World Health Organization, provided direct and logistic support." (Overview: The Seven Countries Study in Brief. By Henry Blackburn, MD. School of Public Health, University of Minesota. Accessed 03/2/13.)

Overview: The Seven Countries Study in Brief / University of Minesota

Keys claimed that "The cholesterol hypothesis, then being revived, needed test of the idea, derived from animal experiments but rejected by leaders in clinical medicine in the 1930s, that the diet of a population would be reflected in the level of cholesterol in the blood which, in turn, would affect susceptibility to coronary heart disease" (Ancel Keys. Seven Countries: A multivariate analysis of death and coronary heart disease. Harvard University Press, 1980, p. 14.)

Keys, 1970 Monograph / UCSF (pdf, 1068 pp)

In fact, it was not that those unnamed "leaders in clinical medicine in the 1930s" rejected the idea "that the diet of a population would be reflected in the level of cholesterol in the blood which, in tun, would affect susceptibility to coronary heart disease." With good judgment, they merely considered cholesterol to be of far less importance as a cause of heart disease than infection, which was particularly evident among the young and middle aged. They were especially concerned about the role of chronic dental and sinus infections and gall bladder disease, and presented abundant evidence of infectious pathology in a variety of blood vessels. Dr. Henry Albert of Des Moines, Iowa said that heart disease "is often caused by repeated infections, such as the common cold, which do injury to the organ... From 15% to 25% of all cases of heart disease are apparently due to rheumatic fever, a disease which occurs early in life, in children of about 10 years of age, and which almost always does permanent damage to the heart." (Time magazine, Oct. 23, 1927, document page 15.) Note that the symptoms of Chlamydia pneumoniae respiratory disease resemble the symptoms of a mild cold. And, while Keys blamed diet and smoking for high rates of heart disease in eastern Finland, it is now known that this area has very high population rates of the HLA-B*35 allele, which is the strongest risk gene for C. pneumoniae-related heart disease (Palikhe 2008).

Albert, Time 1927 / UCSF (pdf, 766 pp)

In fact, it was the advocates of cholesterol who rejected the infection hypothesis, with the curt dismissal, the stonewall, and the conspiracy of silence: "Although the experimental evidence of the relation of infection to atherosclerosis is suggestive and the statistical studies of necropsy material point the finger of suspicion to the same, MacCallum in a recent review of 'Acute and Chronic Infections as Etiological Factors in Arteriosclerosis' concludes that: 'In spite of these experiments and the statistical studies of coexisting or later occurring arteriosclerotic lesions in persons affected with infectious diseases, there is no satisfactory proof of the thesis that infection is the direct cause of arteriosclerosis.' Again, he summarizes the subject matter as follows: 'It appears that there is but little evidence in favor of the idea that infections, whether acute or chronic, play a great part in the pathogenesis of arteriosclerosis...'" (NW Jones, AL Rogers. The incidence of streptococcal infection in cardiovascular sclerosis. Ann Intern Med 1935;8:834-853.)

It is clear that there had been a war of ideas in the 1930s and before, over this issue: "There is no agreement, however, as to the nature of the cause or causes of the type of sclerosis under discussion. It would seem that several factors may be concerned. The mechanical factor of stress and strain, and the changes incident to disturbed metabolism - with high protein and high fat intakes leading to deposition of cholesterol esters in the intima - have been considered the most probable causes. But, seemingly, investigators will not give up the idea that infection in some way plays a role in the pathogenesis."

And the controversy was still alive as of 1950. Saphir and Gore, of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, wrote: "There is danger that wholesale acceptance of the view that arteriosclerosis is directly related to the intake of cholesterol may unjustifiably eclipse information regarding other well substantiated causative factors already attested to in the literature. Klotz concluded from his experiments that not one but many factors may lead to intimal hyperplasia; these included infection, bacterial intoxication and increased arterial tension. Karsner and Bayless summarized the evidence that rheumatic fever and infectious processes may be the forerunners of coronary sclerosis. A similar relationship of streptococcic infections of the sinuses and intimal disease of the cardiac arteries was proposed by Jones and Rogers. Healed lesions of thromboangiitis obliterans may be virtually identical histologically with those of severe arteriosclerosis. Other forms of arteritis, for which there is experimental evidence to indicate a relation to hypersensitivity, may culminate in the same fashion. Even infants are not immune to arterial lesions leading to intimal fibrosis... The multiplicity of the conditions just enumerated and the uniformity of the end results produced on the coronary arteries or their branches suggest that arteriosclerosis is essentially a vascular scar. The liklihood of finding clues to the causation of the scar diminishes rapidly with its age, and for that reason pathologic examination of the lesions of diseased coronary arteries of young persons would seem to offer the best opportunity of deciphering the mechanism by which they are induced." (O Saphir, I Gore. Evidence for an inflammatory basis of coronary arteriosclerosis in the young. Arch Pathol 1950;49:418-426.)

Mary Lasker and the Lasker Foundation were directly involved in the controversy, on the side of the dietary hypothesis. The Lasker Foundation funded a study by Alfred Steiner, M.D., of the City of New York Department of Hospitals and Columbia University Department of Medicine, "Effect of choline in the prevention of experimental aortic atherosclerosis" (Arch Pathol 1948;45:327-332). The study was trumpeted in the New York Times (Artery Hardening Produced in Dogs. 'Striking Similarity' to Disease in Man Is Reported by Two Doctors on Welfare Island. New York Times, April 21, 1947, pg. 29.) The animals were fed thiouracil to impair their thyroid function, which actually made it unlike most atherosclerosis in man, except in appearance.

Mary Lasker herself personally funded the blood lipid work by Dr. John W. Gofman at the Department of Energy's Donner Laboratory in the latter 1940s. According to Gofman's oral history on the DOE website: "She once said, 'If all this work of yours on heart disease is correct,' (she didn't doubt it at all), 'shouldn't it apply to stroke and cerebral sclerosis?' ...I said, 'I don't know the answer about cerebral disease.' she said, 'Well, couldn't you find out?' I said, 'Yeah, we can start doing some studies on the correlation between heart disease and brain disease.' [She said] 'Well, what will it cost?' I said, 'About $75,000, maybe put in about $25,000 a year for 3 years.' I wanted the program; she sent me a check for doing the work. That was Mary." Needless to say, this was big money in the 1940s.

Gofman oral history / Department of Energy

Laymen were elected to the governing bodies of the American Heart Association for the first time in 1947. These included Artemus L. Gates, Skull & Bones 1918, a longtime activist with the American Cancer Society's predecessor, the American Society for the Control of Cancer; Thomas L. Parkinson, President of The Equitable Life Assurance Company; movie producer Samuel Goldwyn; former Rep. Clare Boothe Luce, the wife of Henry R. Luce of Time magazine, S&B 1920; and Harold E. Stassen, the former governor of Minnesota. Tinsley Harrison was elected president for 1948-49. (Mayo Clinic Official Named to Head Heart Asociation. New York Times, June 7, 1947.) Stassen was later a director of the P. Lorillard Tobacco Company from 1963 to 1968, when it was acquired by Loews Corporation.

Mr. and Mrs. Albert D. Lasker lent their Matisses and other French paintings for a benefit for the New York Heart Association. Members of the loan exhibition committee included Artemus Gates and other ASCC activists George F. Baker [Jr.], B. Brewster Jennings, and Oliver Gould Jennings. (French Paintings to Aid Heart Unit. New York Times, Jan. 7, 1951.)

As early as 1926, Charles-Edward Amory Winslow, a leading figure in the American Public Health Association and editor of its Journal from 1944 to 1954 (who received the APHA's highest honor, the Albert and Mary Lasker Award, in 1956), had espoused the false dichotomy between "infectious" and "chronic" diseases, and proposed to abandon the traditional public health emphasis on communicable diseases and meddle in the public's lifestyles instead: "In the early years organic heart disease is largely a result of acute communicable diseases and focal infections, and in middle life of venereal disease; while in old age the factors of true senile degeneration play a major role. It is in the main, however, to personal hygeine and preventive medical care that we must look for the immediate control of this major factor in the death rate. Food, fresh air, exercise and rest, the clearance of the bowels and the avoidance of drugs and poisons - it is these elements in daily healthy living which must form our first direct line of defense against the onset of degenerative disease." (Public health at the crossroads. Am J Public Health 1926;16(11):1075-1085.) [Shades of John Harvey Kellogg, who exerted such a powerful influence on America's ever-gullible ruling classes in the early 20th century.] Winslow was Professor of Public Health at Yale University from 1915 to 1945, and was a crony of Mary Lasker during her earlier activism in the Birth Control Federation of America.

And then there was Mary Lasker's chief lieutenant, Mrs. Florence Mahoney, married to Daniel J. Mahoney, the president of Cox Newspapers in Miami. She studied at the Kellogg Institute in Battle Creek, Michigan during the heyday of John Harvey Kellogg. In 1947, she got the bill authorizing funds to study heart disease sent to President Truman, who was campaigning in San Francisco, via White House courier plane. (Noble Conspirator. Florence S. Mahoney and the Rise of the National Institutes of Health. By Judith Robinson; The Francis Press 2001.) In 1950, Mahoney moved to Washington and established what Elizabeth Brenner Drew calls "the utterly purposeful social side of the syndicate's operations. It is probable that there is no one who has been important to health policy in Washington who has not dined - on, among other things, assorted but tasty health foods - at Mrs. Mahoney's." Let that disabuse the health food fanatics of the notion that they have been a downtrodden minority without political clout.

The issue was not settled on the basis of the scientific evidence and persuasion. It was "settled" with money and political connections, by the stranglehold achieved by the Lasker Syndicate over National Institutes of Health funding after the Second World War. They used their abundant wealth to bribe Congress to enormously increase NIH funding, then got themselves appointed to the advisory councils so that they controlled how the money was spent. They took over the Framingham study, which has been widely acclaimed as a supposed "Cadillac of epidemiologic studies," and made it serve as a tool for their agenda. The Framingham study is the primary basis of the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology consensus position paper, "AHA/ACC Scientific Statement: Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk by Use of Multiple-Risk-Factor Assessment Equations" (SM Grundy et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;34:1348-1359).

AHA/ACC Scientific Statement: Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk...

According to the 1980 Framingham book (The Framingham Study. The Epidemiology of Atherosclerotic Disease. Harvard University Press, 1980) by Thomas Royle Dawber, the original director of the project who served in this capacity for 16 years, "Much of the stimulus behind those [Framingham] investigations came from Assistant Surgeon General Joseph Mountin. Among the various projects he considered of prime importance to the development of preventive measures in chronic disease was a long-term epidemiologic study of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease."

As described in this rather incomplete history, "Although for several years there had been some indication that an institute for the study of heart disease would eventually be established, Mountin did not choose to wait. Under his overall direction efforts were made to establish studies of the epidemiology and possible prevention of heart disease. Two of these were located near each other in Framingham and in Newton, Massachusetts. The emphasis of the Framingham Study was to be epidemiologic. In Newton, practical approaches to prevention were the primary concern (Kattwinkel et al, 1951)."

But Strickland's history in "Politics, Science, and Dread Disease" (Harvard University Press, 1972) reveals how the Lasker Syndicate was pulling strings behind the scenes. In 1947, Mary Lasker had mailed a draft copy of her bill to set aside $100 million for heart disease research to her faithful collaborator, Senator Claude Pepper of Florida. However, since the last election he was no longer chairman of the Appropriations Committee. But fortunately for her, the new chairman of the Committee, Sen. Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, had recently suffered a heart attack. This was an opening for her to manipulate him, and he generously offered to hold hearings if only Lasker lined up the appropriate witnesses. This she did with the assistance of her cronies, American Heart Association president Tinsley Harrison and medical director Charles Connor.

The National Heart Act legislation was drafted by Surgeon General Leonard Scheele, who had become a Lasker ally while he was Associate Director of the National Cancer Institute. Scheele urged the government to coordinate its programs with those of the American Heart Association, on the supposed grounds that the AHA "had been performing such a valuable function in this field." This is a ludicrous claim, because up to that date, the AHA had been an impoverished organization whose greatest accomplishment since its founding in 1924 had been to barely scrape along. The AHA's affiliation with the Lasker gang endowed them with high-powered advertising techniques and media connections. In 1944, the AHA's income had been a paltry $29,000. By 1949, after the AHA had transformed itself into a voluntary health organization on the model of Lasker's American Cancer Society, their fund-raising goal was $5 million. (See: WB Frye. American Cardiology. The history of a specialty and its college. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.)

It was at this time that the American College of Cardiology was formed, by former AHA members who resented the intrusion of laypersons, and those who resented the WASP elitism of the AHA. The AHA smeared the ACC with unspecified insinuations about "the possibility of racketeering," while engaging in a policy of informal sanctions against AHA academics participating in ACC programs. The ACC initially concentrated on continuing medical education and showed no interest in lobbying. However, eventually, the expanding membership decided that its controversial founders were skeletons and shoved them in the closet, and proceeded to court the blessings of the AHA. In 1963, the ACC was still considered "a very, very, very poor relative of the American Heart Association." By 1966, Mary Lasker invited the ACC to join the heart lobby and feed at the government trough. Today, the AHA and ACC are ideological twins.

The National Heart Act bill also included an unprecedented provision for laymen to serve on advisory councils, which was unquestionably for the benefit of Mrs. Lasker. "In a remarkably short time," Strickland says, "the Senate and House enacted the measure designed, its sponsors said, to conquer what had become the nation's number one killer, heart disease. On June 16, 1948, President Truman signed the measure into law; straightaway, Surgeon General Scheele appointed Mrs. Lasker as the first layman to serve on a medical research advisory council." AHA honchos Tinsley Harrison and Irvine Page were on the council as well, with Paul Dudley White as executive director of the NAHC (from 1948-57) and also chief medical advisor to the National Heart Institute. And that fall, Sen. Bridges received a Lasker donation to his election campaign as a reward.

As for Mountin's original Framingham initiative, Dawber continues, "When the National Heart Institute was established in 1949, it appeared advisable to place certain existing programs under its jurisdiction... Because of the guidelines that research into methods of prevention and control of disease were a function of the National Institutes of Health, and projects concerned with practicable control measures belonged elsewhere in the Public Health Service, Mountin agreed [to transfer it] - although he was obviously reluctant to part with a study in which he had been so deeply interested."

"For a number of years the entire cost was borne by the National Heart Institute," which was controlled by Mary Lasker and her friends. "As advisor to Van Slyke at the Heart Institute, [AHA's Paul Dudley] White showed a particular interest in the Framingham study, of which he was one of the main supporters." Dawber was appointed by the director of the National Heart Institute, Van Slyke, to be the first director of the Framingham Study in 1949, a post he held for the next 16 years, followed by close association with the study for a total of 30 years.

Dawber enunciates the smug and presumptuous anti-germ theory mentality of the Laskerite health establishment: "At the end of world War II officials in the Public Health Service were confronted with a changing health situation in this country. If further advances were to be made, clearly they would be in the realm of noninfectious disease. Of these, cardiovascular disease and cancer constituted the overwhelming majority, with disorders of the heart and blood vessels approximately twice as common as cancer. Prior to 1950 cardiovascular disease consisted in large part of the late effects of rheumatic fever and syphilis, both of which appeared conquerable with methods of prevention and therapeutic care already developed. The major remaining disease about which little knowledge or treatment had been accumulated was atherosclerosis and its resultant effects on the heart, brain, and other organs."

This bias colored all research funding, regardless of whether the work to be funded was epidemiological or basic laboratory research. This bias was rflected in the hypotheses chosen for the Framingham study as well, despite Dawber's assurances that "In the development of the Framingham Study a great deal of thought went into the selection of hypotheses for investigation. These were determined by the staff, with substantial input from an advisory committee composed of specialists representing several branches of medical science. This committee had a high proportion of practicing cardiologists with long experience in atherosclerotic disease, who from time to time had observed apparent relationships between certain host and environmental characteristics and the presence of cardiovascular disease."

They were right-thinking ideologues who only saw what they wanted to see, and they refused to consider a role for infection. Besides the familiar age, sex, hypertension, cholesterol, etc. "risk factors," they also chose the hypothesis that "Tobacco smoking is associated with an increased occurrence of coronary heart disease." As Dawber notes: "At the time the Framingham Study was organized, there was no convincing evidence of the hazard of tobacco smoking insofar as coronary heart disease was concerned. On theoretical grounds, the known acute effects of nicotine in elevating blood pressure, pulse rate, and cardiac output, and the effects of smoking in increasing myocardial irritability, suggested a possibility that chronic damage might be produced [note: only if it is irrationally presumed that these effects are only harmful when attributable to tobacco but not to the multitude of other mundane causes]. There was certainly no convincing evidence of an increased rate of atherosclerosis in tobacco users."

Dawber admits: "There can be no doubt that physicians and nonmedical people alike looked with disfavor on the use of tobacco long before the early evidence of a link with lung cancer incidence. Some of this attitude was related to a common belief that the use of stimulants (nicotine) was immoral. By 1950 evidence had already been accumulated that indicated a higher rate of lung cancer in cigarette smokers (Doll and Hill, 1950). This finding, together with the acute effects of nicotine on the cardiovascular system, made more plausible the assumption that smoking might be related to other diseases and encouraged further investigation of the hypothesis."

It would be far more accurate to say that the Framingham Study was designed to falsely blame smoking, as well as other ostensible "risk factors" that are associated with lower socioeconomic class, for cardiovascular disease that was really caused by infection. The Lasker Syndicate turned science into sycophancy, flattering the wealthy by telling them that their lifestyles were "Good" while those of the less fortunate are "Bad." And chronic infections, including gall bladder disease and sinus and dental infections, are still rampant today, so the pharmaceutical industry and heart surgeon types who still dominate the Syndicate continue to get rich at the expense of the victims.

The Second National Conference on Cardiovascular Diseases, 1964

This was jointly sponsored by the American Heart Association, the National Heart Institute, and the Public Health Service. Dr. Jeremiah Stamler of the Chicago Board of Health was the lead anti-smoker, who proclaimed: "Similarly, the environment can be altered as part of the major effort necessary to effect a marked reduction in cigarette smoking in the present and next generation of adults... Attention to several aspects of the environment is very important, and should be actively pursued, while recognizing the futility and danger of any 'simple' prohibition approach. Thus the environment in respect to advertising on TV and radio, in magazines and newspapers, etc., can and should be significantly changed. The timing and extent of cigarette advertising should be tightly controlled, and scientific facts on the health hazards of cigarette smoking should be presented in popular and sustained fashion. The environment in public buildings can and should be significantly changed institution and enforcement of no smoking provision at the local, county, state and national level. The environment with respect to cigarette vending machines can and should be changed, to remove them from government buildings, hospitals, etc., and to enforce laws with respect to sale to minors. The environment with respect to the cigarette package should be changed, by implementing proposals for labelling with respect to the health hazards. The environment should be changed with progressive increases in taxes on cigarettes. The social and psychological environment can and should be changed by large scale, imaginative, varied, and above all sustained educational efforts to convince the public, young and middle aged, of the impropriety (in the fullest sense of the word) of smoking." (Hill & Knowlton Informational Memorandum, Nov. 19, 1964.)

Hill & Knowlton Memo, 1964 / UCSF (pdf, 3 pp)

The insurance companies were enlisted to propagandize as well. "The life insurance industry has a well recognized stake in the cardiovascular disease problem. In the area of lay education, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company has been a pioneer. For many years the Company has made available to the public and community agencies a comprehensive booklet on the circulatory system and heart disease as well as special leaflets on rheumatic fever and coronary heart disease. 'How to Control Your Weight' and 'Your Guide to Good Health' have been two additional publications used in urging intelligent health maintenance. From 1950 to 1963, the Metropolitan placed 22 different public servie messages on cardiovascular diseases in national magazines. During the same time period, similar messages were carried over radio networks. In keeping with the general trend in cardiovascular information for the general public, the Company's messages included factual information about heart research, the circulatory system, and common misconceptions; and focused on such preventive measures as periodic check-ups, knowledge of warning signals, avoidance of stress, weight control, regular exercise, and a daily routine of healthful living.

"Both the Prudential Insurance Company of America and the John Hancock Life Insurance Company are others in the insurance industry who have made heart disease information available to the public although on a much more limited scale than Metropolitan. The Prudential has published 'It's Your Heart' and the John Hancock such titles as 'About Your Blood,' 'Foes After Forty,' 'Waist Lines,' and 'Guarding Your Family's Health.' Other companies such as the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States also provide health education services for the public, but supporting general health maintenance rather than dealing with the cardiovascular disease problem per se."

"Cigarette Smoking. In June 1963, the Board of Directors of AHA went on record for the first time in favor of an active
campaign among the general public to discourage cigarette smoking. The action was based on a review of scientific evidence concerning the relationship of cigarette smoking to cardiovascular disease. The Board's move opened the way for Heart Associations to launch programs of their own and to work cooperatively with other health groups, such as the American Cancer Society and the National Tuberculosis Association, in educational activities especially directcd to teenagers and adults with a high risk of coronary disease. Educational materials have been prepared to acquaint the public with factual information derived from research reports. Nevertheless, it has become evident that factual information is not enough to change the smoking habits of the population." (The Heart and Circulation. Second National Conference on Cardiovascular Diseases. Volume II Community Service and Education. Education of the Lay Public.) George M. Wheatley, Third Vice President and Medical Director, Health and Welfare Division of the Metropolitan; Granville W. Larimore, First Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health; Fred V. Hein, Director of Community Health and Health Education of the American Medical Association; and Mrs. Frances W. Everett, consultant to the Metropolitan, were the officials in charge.

Second National Conference on Cardiovascular Diseases, 1964 / UCSF (pdf, 23 pp)

Council for Tobacco Research funding revived the Framingham Study in 1971

(New Tobacco-Health Grants Announced, One Helps Revive Framingham Heart Study. Press Release, Leonard Zahn & Associates, Nov. 9, 1971. Document pages 415-417.) The CTR grant was to Thomas R. Dawber, one of the original principal investigators of the study.

CTR Supports Framingham, 1971 / UCSF (pdf, 700 pp)


The Rise and Fall of Ischemic Heart Disease, by Reuel A. Stallones. Scientific American, Nov. 1980. He notes that supposed "explanations" such as diet, exercise, and smoking do not adequately account for the changes in the death rates. It includes graphs of death rates by age beginning in the 1800s, and showing the increase that began around 1920.

"Between 1900 and 1920 the death rates attributed to diseases of the heart were relatively stable. An abrupt change came in 1920, when an upward trend was established that continued for 30 years. The abruptness of the change was accentuated by a deficit of deaths in 1919, the year that followed the excessive mortality of the influenza pandemic of that time... An examination of the deaths by 10-year age groups shows, however, that the change in slope was characteristic of the mid-adult years. The death rates for diseases of the heart among people younger than 35 decreased steadily throughout the first half of the century, and the death rates increased steadily for people older than 75. If the change in slope were due to vagaries in the reporting or the classification of the deaths, then the reason for the change to be so highly selective for the age groups between 35 and 75 is obscure... Through 1950 the death rates increased steadily for the old and decreased steadily for the young. The change in the trend of the death rates that came in 1920 affected the people whose ages were in between. In contrast, the recent decline in the death rates has affected all age groups... The mortality rates for ischemic heart disease reached their peak in the mid-1960's, and by 1970 a declining trend was well established... The decline in cigarette smoking has been much more pronounced, however, in middle-aged men than in middle-aged women, a difference that is not at all in accord with the equivalence in the decline in mortality for the genders. Moreover, the lack of association for older people between ischemic heart disease and smoking as well as serum cholesterol raises the question of how a reduction in smoking could effect a decrease in risk for this age group." (The Rise and Fall of Ischemic Heart Disease. RA Stallones. Scientific American 1980 Nov;243(5):53-59.)

Stallones - Scientific American 1980 / UCSF (pdf, 8 pp)

The decline in death rates since 1970 has been as large among smokers as among non-smokers.

Temporal trends in coronary heart disease mortality and sudden cardiac death from 1950 to 1999: the Framingham Heart Study. CS Fox, JC Evans, MG Larson, WB Kannel, D Levy. Circulation 2004 Aug 3;110(5):522-527. "Nonsudden CHD death decreased by 64% (95% CI 50% to 74%, Ptrend<0.001), and SCD rates decreased by 49% (95% CI 28% to 64%, Ptrend<0.001). These trends were seen in men and women, in subjects with and without a prior history of CHD, and in smokers and nonsmokers."

Fox / Circulation 2004 abstract
Fox / Circulation 2004 full article

Fig. 1, heart disease death rates 1900-1996, shows that rates have fallen to below the level of the year 1900; average serum cholesterol has been declining since 1960, which was before widespread dietary changes; while the prevalence of overweight has steadily increased. (In: Spanish flu and early 20th-century expansion of a coronary heart disease-prone subpopulation. MI Azambuja. Tex Heart Inst J 2004;31(1):14-21.)

Azambuja - Tex Heart Inst J 2004 full article / PubMed Central
Fig. 1, Azambuja - Tex Heart Inst J 2004 / PubMed Central

Influenza and heart disease: "They found that 11,892 people died from acute myocardial infarction (AMI) (47.8% men and 52.2% women), and 23,000 died from chronic ischaemic heart disease (IHD) (40.1% men and 59.9% women). The peaks in deaths from both AMI and IHD coincided with the times when influenza epidemics and acute respiratory disease (ARD), which often accompanies flu, were at their height. They found that the chances of dying from AMI increased by a third in epidemic weeks, compared to non-epidemic weeks, and the chances of dying from IHD increased by a tenth. This was the same for both men and women and in different age groups." (New Research Shows That Flu May Trigger a Heart Attack. DG News, Doctors Guide, Apr. 18, 2007.)

Flu May Trigger a Heart Attack / Doctors Guide 2007

How the health fascists lie in our faces about smoking and heart disease: Explaining the decrease in U.S. deaths from coronary disease, 1980–2000. ES Ford, UA Ajani, JB Croft, JA Critchley, DR Labarthe, TE Kottke, WH Giles, and S Capewell. NEJM 2007 Jun 7;356(23):2388-2398. The specious analysis by Earl S. Ford et al. fraudulently attributes declines in smoking rates for 12% of the overall decline in heart disease deaths between 1980 and 2000. They used an a priori presumption of smoking risks for their calculation, while simply ignoring the Framingham evidence that heart disease death rates declined just as much among smokers as among non-smokers. The full evidence clearly proves that there is an unknown underlying factor affecting both smokers and non-smokers, and these charlatans have merely exploited the coincidence of simultaneous declines in both to make a false propaganda claim. They make an even larger phony claim for cholesterol, which has not been borne out by prospective evidence, a fact which they also ignore. This kind of quackery is typical of the New England Journal of Medicine, which is a mouthpiece for Puritan religious ideology masquerading as science, whose prestige rests on the political power of the Boston elite.

Ford / NEJM 2007 full article

The Lasker Syndicate turned society's institutions into a vast propaganda machine to brainwash the public, while suppressing research into the role of infection, and thus eliminate dissent against their dogmas. That they achieved this goal is indisputable: Between 1950 and approximately the late 1980s, research based on the infection hypothesis practically vanished from the literature, and has only recently been resumed.

To Jonathan Samet's Perjury About Heart Disease

Scientific fraud pretending that quitting smoking reduces heart disease: (A Longitudinal Study of Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Dependence Treatments in Massachusetts and Associated Decreases in Hospitalizations for Cardiovascular Disease. T Land, NA Rigotti, DE Levy, M Paskowsky, D Warner, J-A Kwass, LA Wetherell, L Keithly. PLoS Med 2010;7(12): e1000375.) The charlatans pretend that, merely because hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease declined among users of quit-smoking products, therefore the quit-smoking medications caused this by reducing smoking. They are guilty of fraud for ignoring the key factor of longtime declines in heart disease among all demographic groups, including smokers. There is no comparison of the declines among users of quit-smoking medications versus non-users, which would be necessary for anything resembling a valid comparison. This fraud was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, to purposely deceive the public and help lobby for tax funding for quit-smoking medications. Terry Pechacek and Lei Zhang of the CDC looked over their shoulders. Co-author Nancy A. Rigotti has received funding from Pfizer and Nabi Biopharmaceuticals for the study of investigational and/or marketed smoking cessation products.

Land / PLoS Med 2010 full article

Dietary Fat

Background of the prevention of cardiovascular disease. II. Arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and selected risk factors. Ogelsby Paul. Circulation 1989 Jul;80(1):206-214. An example of the smug orthodoxy of 1989 which pretends that diet, hypertension, lack of exercise and smoking are the causes of cardiovascular disease.

Paul - Circulation 1989 / UCSF (pdf, 9 pp)

Sen. George McGovern was Florence Mahoney's tool for brainwashing the public about diet and heart disease.

The George S. McGovern Page

Nutrition. The soft science of dietary fat. Gary Taubes. Science 2001 Mar 30;291(5513):2536-2545.

The Soft Science of Dietary Fat / National Association of Science Writers

Low-fat dietary pattern and risk of cardiovascular disease: the Women's Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial. BV Howard, L Van Horn, J Hsia, JE Manson, ML Stefanick, S Wassertheil-Smoller, LH Kuller, AZ LaCroix, RD Langer, NL Lasser, CE Lewis, MC Limacher, KL Margolis, WJ Mysiw, JK Ockene, LM Parker, MG Perri, L Phillips, RL Prentice, J Robbins, JE Rossouw, GE Sarto, IJ Schatz, LG Snetselaar, VJ Stevens, LF Tinker, M Trevisan, MZ Vitolins, GL Anderson, AR Assaf, T Bassford, SA Beresford, HR Black, RL Brunner, RG Brzyski, B Caan, RT Chlebowski, M Gass, I Granek, P Greenland, J Hays, D Heber, G Heiss, SL Hendrix, FA Hubbell, KC Johnson, JM Kotchen. JAMA 2006 Feb 8;295(6):655-666. Randomized controlled trial of 48,835 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years, 1993-98. "The diet had no significant effects on incidence of CHD (hazard ratio [HR], 0.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.90-1.06), stroke (HR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.90-1.15), or CVD (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.92-1.05)... Over a mean of 8.1 years, a dietary intervention that reduced total fat intake and increased intakes of vegetables, fruits, and grains did not significantly reduce the risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD in postmenopausal women and achieved only modest effects on CVD risk factors..." After finding no effect, they nonsensically declare that "more focused diet and lifestyle interventions may be needed to improve risk factors and reduce CVD risk."

Howard - JAMA 2006 abstract / PubMed
Howard / JAMA 2006 full article

See Also:

The Lie That Secondhand Smoke Causes Heart Disease
Chlamydia pneumoniae Causes Heart Disease
CMV and Other Infections Cause Heart Disease
Infections Cause Stroke
"Bad Habits" Do Not Explain Higher Death Rates in the Poor
Confounding By Infection

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<= Back to The Laskers in the Truman Administration

cast 03-13-15