How many people did useless heart stents kill?


For years the "gold standard" for treating clogged arteries of the heart was to perform very invasive surgery to insert a small plastic tube, or stent, into the clogged artery to reduce the blockage. It sounds like common sense, doesn't it?

The problem is that this procedure was never adequately tested for results, and only years later has it been discovered that stents are in fact mostly useless and lethal to some, at least when used on people with stable angina, that is, those who are not having sudden heart attacks.

....A randomized controlled trial was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The main outcomes of interest were heart attacks and death. Researchers gathered almost 2,300 patients with significant coronary artery disease and proof of reduced blood flow to the heart. They assigned them randomly to a stent with medical therapy or to medical therapy alone.

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They followed the patients for years. The result? The stents didn’t make a difference beyond medical treatment in preventing these bad outcomes.

This was hard to believe. So more such studies were conducted.

In 2012, the studies were collected in a meta-analysis in JAMA Internal Medicine. Three studies looked at patients who were stable after a heart attack. Five more examined patients who had stable angina or ischemia but had not yet had a heart attack. The meta-analysis showed that stents delivered no benefit over medical therapy for preventing heart attacks or death for patients with stable coronary artery disease.

Some of you may say, "But I or a relative had a stent implanted, and I or my relative felt much better afterwards." But if you read the article you will see that they actually conducted a study where they randomly cut open some patient's chests and did nothing else to them, while giving others stents (patients and even their doctors did not know which group they were in). What they found that even those whose chests were opened but didn't have a stent implanted also felt better.

...many, if not most patients, probably don’t need them. This is hard for patients and physicians to wrap their heads around because, in their experience, patients who got stents got better. They seemed to receive a benefit from the procedure. But that benefit appears to be because of the placebo effect, not any physical change from improved blood flow.

....stent placement can [cause significant harm]. Even in this study, 2 percent of patients had a major bleeding event.

A "major bleeding event" can lead to death; in fact, stent patients face a much higher risk of death, another study found.

Many people think doctors are like the "voice of God" who are authority figures. But one of the very first things my father, who was a doctor, taught me was to think for myself and to listen to what doctors had to say, but then to evaluate the risks myself. That's why I don't trust a "vaccine" that claims to have a 10% effectiveness rate. That's why I don't trust PSA tests. That's also why I don't trust a dentist who recommends multiple root canal treatments. And the very foremost thing my father warned me about, decades ago, was to never, ever get a stent if a doctor told me to.

This is not the first article revealing the facts about the overuse of stents for people with stable angina (those not suffering actual heart attacks--for those in the latter category, stents may or may not help, the jury is still out on that one). What is curiously missing from this article and all others like it, however, is any assignment of responsibility to the doctors and medical device manufacturers who made a financial killing but probably committed some real murders as well. Why don't we go after them like we go after cigarette and opioid manufacturers? Shouldn't they have done double blind experiments before implanting these time bombs in hundreds of thousands of people?



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Why does replacing food stamps with food so anger liberals?


President Trump has proposed replacing some food stamp grants with actual food. This has curiously enraged liberals, who you would think would be delighted to see "hungry" people getting food. The program in question is called "SNAP", which I think, due to repeated accounts of fraud, is more appropriately called SUCK (Stealing Unearned Cash Knowingly).
CONTINUE READING

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President Trump's budget calls for funding for his border wall. Kudos, President Trump, mega-kudos to you!
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Let's replace the words "Trump" with "Obama" in biased headlines


The liberal media, which bills itself as non-partisan, is running especially rabid now that President Trump has released his budget containing modest proposed cuts for certain agencies. Looking at the ferocity of the biased headlines, I wonder what the headlines would look like if Trump's name were replaced with Obama, as well as adjusting for circumstances.
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Study: Immigration enforcement gives illegal aliens PTSD


Would it surprise you to learn that there is not just one or two but dozens of studies examining the psychological effects of enforcing the law against illegal aliens? Apparently, enforcing immigration law causes all kinds of effects on illegal aliens; it makes them anxious, depressed, and, according to one study, victims of post traumatic stress disorder.
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Medicaid recipients find $1 premiums too confusing to pay


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If Rand Paul were President, we wouldn't have this Democratic-inspired budget


Senator Rand Paul succeeded in briefly shutting down the government last night when he demanded a vote on restoring the budget spending caps before voting on the GOP deficit busting bill. By the time you read this, however, it is expected that a coalition of Democrats and RINO Republicans will have succeeded in passing a monstrosity of a budget bill which, although it will increase defense spending, will also increase domestic spending by hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming years, and is estimated to create a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit in 2019. That's $1,200,000,000,000 added to the debt in one year alone.
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A GOP House, a GOP Senate, and a GOP President cannot cut a penny in spending


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