Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Need Another Reason Not To Trust What You Read On The Dr. Oz Show Website?

This past Monday, I wrote a blog about the wastefulness of the NMR LipoProfile test recommended by Dr. Mark Hyman during his PBS appearance (and on his website and I suspect in his new book, etc.). He emphatically advocated for the test because he felt that it was an essential tool to identify people at risk for heart attacks. I opined that it was another expensive test expected to provide little additional information for most people.

Alas, along comes a new study that merits attention. According to the study, performed by John Danesh, FRCP, of the University of Cambridge in England, and colleagues belonging to the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, there was only slight improvements in cardiovascular risk prediction gained by adding more blood lipid-related markers to conventional factors. In fact, fewer than 5% of individuals would have their risk classifications changed by including such new markers.

According to the researchers, adding more lipid markers to the risk prediction equation brought, at best, only "slight improvement." The research, published in the June 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that replacing the standard blood tests used today to determine cholesterol levels and cardiac risk markers with these new lipoprotein-associated factors reduced the accuracy of risk prediction.

In practical terms, this study showed it would be necessary to test from 800 to 4,500 individuals for these lipoprotein markers in order to prevent one major cardiovascular event over 10 years. Now that sure seems like a waste of time and money because even if you test positive, it doesn't assure that you will do anything different in terms of lifestyle or treatment. Even if you add a statin, there is no guarantee it will prevent a heart attack because plenty of people who take statins still have heart attacks. The key to good heart health remains lifestyle and you should live a healthy one regardless of what a doctor or diagnostic test tells you.

The NMR LipoProfile offers three case studies to support their product. Not surprising that the first case study, described as an overweight man, was found to be at greater risk of having a major cardiovascular event based on the test. Duh! Being overweight is clearly a risk factor and you don't need an extra blood test for confirmation.

The take-away here is the usual one. Don't wait for blood tests and diagnoses to force you to take stock of your life and make the changes that will both improve the quality of your life today and your enjoyment of life for years to come. Remember, the longer you live, the healthier you've been.

So once again, I searched the Dr. Oz website to see what it had to say on this matter and of course, there is a posted article written by Dr. Hyman strongly supporting this test.  Imagine that? 

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