• WINE TRUMPS MODERN CARDIAC TECHNOLOGY

    Posted August 27, 2015: by Bill Sardi

    Today’s news headlines once again attribute recent declines in coronary heart disease mortality to statin drugs and modern treatments like arterial stents.

    Citing a report in the European Heart Journal, The Daily Mail, a British publication, mistakenly claims Great Britain has “one of the best records in Europe” with 184 deaths per 100,000 people for coronary heart disease — a dramatic 46.9% decline over the past 10 years. [European Heart Journal Aug 25, 2015; Daily Mail UK Aug 26, 2015] Yet the chart below reveals Great Britain (United Kingdom) isn’t even in the top 10 countries with the lowest death rate for coronary artery disease.

    The Daily Mail accurately give half of the credit for this astounding reduction in mortality to a steep decline in tobacco use but the other 50% is attributed to clot-busting drugs and stents placed to prop open coronary arteries, and of course, statin cholesterol-lowering drugs that cardiologists now want to expand from 7 million to 17 million British who have no more than a 10% chance of heat and blood vessel disease.

    Careful examination of the data provided in the following chart more demonstrably points to the consumption of wine, a “natural clot busting drug,” not statin drugs or stents, as a dietary agent that may have brought about the dramatic reductions in death rates from heart disease over the past decade in Europe.

    It was Dr. Serge Renaud of France who in 1992 first reported the striking reduction in coronary artery disease mortality among the wine drinking French, which he attributed to wine’s ability to inhibit clumping of blood platelets (blood clots) in coronary arteries. [Lancet June 20, 1992]

    True, the following chart accurately shows that coronary artery disease mortality declined commensurate with greater use of statin cholesterol-lowering drugs (right column).

    However, a steep decline in death from coronary heart disease was documented a decade prior to approval of the first statin cholesterol-lowering drug (Mevacor) in 1987. Dr. Robert L. Levy, Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University cited 24.9-30.6% decline in coronary artery disease death in the decade 1968-1978. [Arteriosclerosis Sept/Oct 1981]

    An unappreciated confounding factor is when a greater amount of alcohol spirits is consumed than wine. In those countries where wine is preferred over strong alcohol spirits the death rate for coronary health disease is consistently low. For example, almost 62% of alcohol consumed in France is from wine, compared to ~20% from spirits. France holds the position of the lowest mortality rate for coronary heart disease among all European nations.

    All of the European countries with the lowest coronary heart disease mortality rates consume far more wine than alcohol spirits. In Great Britain that ratio of wine over spirits is not demonstrably high.

    In the countries with the highest death rates for coronary heart disease in Europe, their overall per capita consumption of wine is low and the ratio of spirits over wine is considerable. Russia is a primary example with consumption of alcohol spirits (presumably vodka) representing nearly 63% of alcohol intake and wine just 1%.

    Presumably, wine drinkers imbibe with wine and hard alcohol users with spirits, so the ratio of wine to spirits in most drinkers is likely 100% wine or 100% spirits.

    The exception is Japan where wine consumption is low and alcohol spirits (sake) is relatively high. The coronary artery disease mortality rate in Japan is by far the lowest in the world even though the number of cigarettes smoked per capita is high. Presumably the Japanese inhibit clots in coronary arteries with their high dietary consumption of fish oil and green tea. [American Journal Physiology: Cell Physiology, Feb 1, 2013; Atherosclerosis 2013; Functional Food Oct 2013; American Journal Clinical Nutrition March 2011]

    Many millions of healthy Americans mistakenly rely upon use of a daily baby-size (81 milligram) aspirin tablet which is not effective in reducing blood clots in coronary arteries. [FDA Consumer May 2014] The red wine molecule resveratrol inhibits blood platelet clumping and may serve as an alternative to wine for teetotalers. [International Journal Food Science Nutrition Dec 2011] — ¬©2015 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.

    CONTROLLING FACTORS, CORONARY HEART DISEASE MORTALITY: EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

    COUNTRY

    Coronary Heart Disease Mortality Rate per 100,000/males

    10-year change

    Cigarettes per capita/ change in smoking rates 2000-2010

    Liters of wine consumed per capita/
    % change 2007-10

    % Alcohol spirits/
    % Wine

    Statin Drugs
    per
    1000
    2000/2011

    LOWEST CORONARY HEART DISEASE MORTALITY

    France

    83.6

    -37.3%

    854
    -13.7%

    42.9
    -4.7%

    19.8%
    61.5%

    55/1000
    92/1000

    Portugal

    88.6

    -39.5%

    1114
    -9.7%

    42.2
    -1.0%

    10.4%
    54.6%

    19/1000
    88/1000

    Netherlands

    90.1

    -53.8%

    801
    -27.0%

    21.4
    +28.6%

    16.4%
    34.1%

    47/1000
    101/1000

    Spain

    104.0

    -35.8%

    1757
    -17.4%

    19.3
    -20.8%

    13.1%
    35.8%

    24/1000
    90/1000

    Luxembourg

    109.9

    -55.4%

    928
    -30.8%

    10.2
    -1.5%

    16.3%
    70.3%

    N/A
    112/1000

    Belgium

    119.6

    -42.8%

    1455
    -14.9%

    25.4
    -3.0%

    6.2%
    36.75%

    39/1000
    122/1000

    Norway

    136.8

    -49.0%

    534
    -40.6%

    17.0
    +2.7%

    20.1%
    31.4%

    59/1000
    116/1000

    Greece

    145.3

    -28.3%

    2795
    -8/9%

    26.9
    -8.2%

    25.8%
    49.0%

    N/A
    N/A

    Italy

    148.0

    -23.8%

    1475:
    -5.3%

    35.5
    +3.4%

    5.2%
    73.2%

    14/1000
    72/1000

    Switzerland

    149.2

    -32.2%

    1722
    -29.4%

    40.6
    -0.5%

    17.6%
    51.0%

    N/A
    N/A

    United Kingdom

    184.0

    -46.9%

    750

    -20.4%

    21.6
    +7.8%

    20.9%
    30.6%

    N/A
    109/1000

    HIGHEST CORONARY HEART DISEASE MORTALITY

    Ukraine

    1077.4

    -12.5%

    2401

    4.4
    -6.9%

    61.3%
    6.8%

    N/A
    N/A

    Belarus

    1060.7

    -5.2%

    2266

    6.7
    0.0%

    43.5%
    8.5%

    N/A
    N/A

    Turkmenistan

    1001.4

    +4.3%

    135

    0.2
    -7.9%

    52.4%
    38.6%

    N/A
    N/A

    Kyrgyzstan

    983.7

    +13.6%

    942

    0.2
    0.0%

    80.1%
    3.5%

    N/A
    N/A

    Russia

    790.3

    -10.4%

    2786

    7.6
    +3.3%

    62.7%
    1.0%

    N/A
    30/1000

    OTHER COUNTRIES OUTSIDE EUROPE FOR COMPARISON

    United States

    126.0

    -20.0%

    1028

    10.6
    +5.8%

    31.3%
    16.0%

    N/A
    60.5/1000

    Japan

    31.2

    1841

    2.7
    +1.7%

    42.2%
    3.5%

    N/A
    3.5%

    N/A = not available

    Sources:

    Coronary Heart Disease Mortality. European Heart Journal Aug 25,2015

    Cigarettes per capita: Tobacco Atlas 2012 The Guardian March 23, 2012.

    Decline in smoking. Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) Health at a Glance: Europe 2012

    Changes in wine consumption: Wine Institute

    Alcohol spirits versus wine consumption. ChartsBin.com

    Decline in U.S. coronary artery disease mortality 1998-2010. Bulletin World Health Organization Feb 2010.

    ©2015 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.

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