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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday November 09 2019, @05:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the hoping-for-a-speedy-recovery dept.

The observant among you may have noticed I'd been posting fewer stories recently.

On October 27th I went to the hospital. After a physical examination, CT scan, and MRI, it was determined that I had had a minor stroke. I had mild loss of use of the pinky and ring finger of my left hand as well as some loss of fine motor control in my left arm and leg. A couple days later saw me in the operating room with a stent being inserted in my right carotid artery. I was released on Halloween day for a few days' recuperation at a relative's home and am now cleared to go back to work. I'm starting easy with slightly shortened work days, as I lack the stamina I had before.

Still, as these things go, I can't help but think of how fortunate I am. Nothing internal seems to have been affected (heart, lungs, etc. all working fine.) I am right-handed, so no problems there. No problem with talking or swallowing, so that's a huge plus. Thanks to neural plasticity and prescribed exercises, I have already mostly recovered. The lack of stamina manifests as my just being too tired after a day at work to be able to do much in the way of posting stories out to the site. As for my mind, I can attest that I am still as tarp as a shack! =)

As much as I would like to think I'll just bounce back to normal in no time, I acknowledge that my activities here will be at a somewhat diminished capacity for a while; time will tell.

With my absence, the rest of the editorial team rose to the occasion and kept the main page fed with stories. This meant extra time and effort on their part. Please join me in thanking Fnord666, Janrinok, cmn32480, takyon, chromas, NotSanguine, and CoolHand for their efforts to help push out stories to the main page. There were probably others whom I failed to notice; please accept my apologies for their omission. Call them out in the comments, and join me in thanking them for their efforts.

On a related note, it is my pleasure to announce that Fnord666 has accepted my invitation to step up to fill the position of Alternate-Editor-in-Chief. When janrinok was Editor-in-Chief (EiC), I accepted becoming Alternate-EiC, and when he stepped down as EiC, it was a privilege to take on becoming the EiC. I foresee no imminent demise on my part, but recent events made it abundantly clear to me the value of having this position filled. Please join me in congratulating Fnord666 on his promotion!

(For completeness' sake, I wish to point out that all of the staff at SoylentNews are volunteers. Nobody here has ever been paid anything for their work on the site. Any monies received when you subscribe go towards paying hosting fees, domain name registration, tax preparation expenses, and other costs required to keep this site running. Speaking of which, we are at nearly 70% of our goal for this half of our fiscal year—many thanks to those who have already subscribed!)

Lastly, I now place a request to the community. With the holiday season coming, my free time will become even more limited by work demands. It would be such a help to us to see story submissions from members of the community. It's really not that hard to do. Take a look at what the general layout of each article looks like on the site. Nothing very fancy or elaborate is needed. Click the Submit Story link in the SlashBox on the left-hand side of the main page of this site. Provide a title for the story, select a topic, provide a link to what you are writing in about, and a few paragraphs from the linked story would prove extremely helpful to us! We aim for mostly tech-oriented stories, but that is not an absolute requirement. Please submit your story in English (either North American, British or other variant is fine). Do be aware that we aim for balanced reporting here; attempts to push an agenda with one-sided, biased, or slanted submissions will likely result in the story being declined. The story submission page provides a link to the Submission Guidelines that, if followed, greatly improves the chance that your story will be accepted. (NB: We tend to relax the standards a bit on the weekend so as to include slightly offbeat or humorous stories; we appreciate a good laugh, too!

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  • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Sunday November 10 2019, @01:54AM (16 children)

    by barbara hudson (6443) <> on Sunday November 10 2019, @01:54AM (#918491) Journal
    Heart disease (atherosclerosis) is a disease of humans - even our closest primate relative (chimps) don't get it. So the victim-blaming is a bit inappropriate. Humans have a predisposition to heart disease, and our innate nature (genetics and epigenetics)probably is the main factor.

    In other words, heart disease is normal, same as getting a sun tan. Of course we can do things that might mitigate risk, but that's highly individual-dependent. People who have a natural tendency to high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol are going to have to take measures that people with HDL naturally higher than LDL can ignore (a beneficial mutation).

    I'm sure that Marty doesn't need people piling on with the unwritten assumption that he's responsible for having a stroke "because lifestyle". Stress is a HUGE contributor to heart disease and stroke - it's hard to change how you react to life's stresses.

    I'm going to wish Marty a speedy and full recovery - he's intelligent enough to be able to make his own choices.

    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10 2019, @03:10AM (15 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10 2019, @03:10AM (#918504)

    That is just wrong. It occurs in a number of species, even in the wild. In fact, multiple physiological responses atherosclerosis were first diagnosed in non-humans. For all that history and more, as well as some slightly out-of-date prevalence figures in humans and clinical research, see []

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10 2019, @04:55AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10 2019, @04:55AM (#918526)

      Also as for humans it only predominantly occurs in populations on a western diet, for example []

      Some cultures have no heart disease at all as per this video []

      I'll leave it to you to verify the citations in both the article and the talk.

      Nobody is blaming anyone for anything, I think we're all trying to help with kind words and some of us wish to chime in with useful facts.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10 2019, @06:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10 2019, @06:18AM (#918537)

        NOTE FROM TED: Please do not look to this talk for medical advice. The speaker makes strong assertions about a specific diet that lack sufficient scientific evidence for general prescription.

        I think that is what most people will need to verify the claim of that particular video. Secondly, the original interheart study [] shows that the real difference maker is fruits and vegetables in your diet and obesity. Additionally, those for highest risk for AMI is actually China and HK. The one you cited ("Dietary patterns and the risk of acute myocardial infarction in 52 countries." Circulation 118, no. 19 (2008): 1929-1937.), shows no increased or even decreased risk of OR for the "western diet" except for those in the fourth quartile of diet compliance. Even the authors state that there is not adjustment for portion size and other important dietary factors when they list the limitations and delimitations of the study, which is quite evident in the interval for S.E. Asia.

        But anyway, I'm not assigning blame. Originally, I was just trying to point out that the claim that only humans, and of that a particular subset, are the only ones to get atherosclerosis is just plain wrong. When you make such a flat-out false statement like that, it just damages your credibility for whatever else comes out of your mouth in the same comment.

      • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Sunday November 10 2019, @06:55PM

        by barbara hudson (6443) <> on Sunday November 10 2019, @06:55PM (#918666) Journal
        The role of genes in heart disease is an established fact. Doesn't matter the diet - most humans will get a buildup of plaque in their coronary arteries, especially when compared to other primates, where fibrotic heart disease causes the problem. Don't be obese, don't smoke or do narcotics, get a bit of exercise - these are the biggies we can control.

        If you're prone to high LDL and you take statins to lower blood cholesterol, you won't lower your risk of heart attack. You also need higher HDL - which is what you get from the body converting low density cholesterol to high density cholesterol. That's why removing LDL doesn't reduce risk of death - you've removed the raw material for producing HDL.

        Look at people with both abnormally low LDL and abnormally high HDL - they can eat shitty high fat diets, yet PET and CT scans show a clean cardiovascular system. Unfortunately, the mutations that cause this seem to be random, so you'll find them in people with a strong family history of early death from heart disease, and some siblings following the family pattern, and others who don't.

        Statins are a waste of money because buildup of plaques still happens at the same rates with low LDL alone after using statins. We can't change that, so we SHOULD be looking for drugs that increase the conversation rate of LDL to HDL. We're not doing that for the same reason it took decades to get away from the fiction that peptic ulcers were caused by stress and not an infection. It usually requires the previous generation of scientists and researchers to die for new ideas to be accepted. Same as decades later people are still pushing the fiction of the Mediterranean diet.

        We're not going to get research into raising HDL until enough people have died after useless statins that the message sinks in. Until then , people will continue to rely on them "because we're doing something", even when that something we're doing is proven to be useless.

        It's in such environments that quacks prosper. And bogus diets. People want solutions that defy their basic genetic makeup.

        SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
    • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Sunday November 10 2019, @02:11PM (11 children)

      by barbara hudson (6443) <> on Sunday November 10 2019, @02:11PM (#918588) Journal
      Not the same. Most heart disease in other primates is fibrotic in origin, as even your article points out that the monkeys don't have the same response to serum cholesterol as humans. More information here []

      Humans have a much bigger predisposition to occlusion of large coronary arteries from plaques, so my point stands - it's a normal process in humans. Preventative changes in diet in someone who is otherwise healthy and gets a normal amount of exercise may or may not work - it's highly dependent on the individual. Or have we all forgotten about Jim Fixx, fitness guru who ran up to 80 miles a week and died of a heart attack at 52?

      And statins, while lowering cholesterol, don't lower risk of death [] , so we're left with the biggie - the genetic predisposition of humans to accumulate plaques in the coronary arteries, unlike other primates.

      There was no evolutionary pressure to select against it since during most of human existence the average human died at 19. If you're going to die before 50, when heart disease becomes a factor, doesn't matter if you have a predisposition to collect plaques in your coronary arteries. You'll die of something else before.

      We're a young species with a rapid rate of evolution, probably due to many events that represented pinch points where the entire human population dropped almost to extinction. Coronary heart disease was never going to be a factor - until we started living a lot longer. Living into our 60s , 70, 80, 100 - that was not considered normal until recently. Even after civilization expanded, dying in your 50s was considered normal. Not now, but that's only because we've reduced other causes of death that would have taken us out earlier. Lower infant mortality, and the ability to fix accidents that would have left us permanently crippled and unable to survive long-term in a competitive environment, play a large role. And without antibiotics we're going to see earlier death again.

      If and when we run out of effective antibiotics due to drug resistance, people will again not have to worry about heart disease - they will die before it becomes a factor. Good thing our genes aren't as stable as other species - our high mutation rate might allow a few humans to beat new infections, same as some already have mutations that cause high HDL / low LDL and can eat as much dietary cholesterol as they want with no clogging of the arteries.

      SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10 2019, @05:08PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10 2019, @05:08PM (#918641)

        while your arguments are compelling, you clearly did not look at the above links which strongly support the idea that western diet is a huge factor in heart disease. The sources seem credible so it's up to you to disprove them, ideally with things other than thought experiments.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by barbara hudson on Sunday November 10 2019, @06:25PM (1 child)

          by barbara hudson (6443) <> on Sunday November 10 2019, @06:25PM (#918661) Journal
          The purported advantages of the Mediterranean diet turned out to be due to genetic differences. Diet doesn't beat genetics, no matter how much we wish that we could control outcomes by changing lifestyle. About the only real across-the-board undisputed things you can do to lower risk of CVD is to not poison yourself by smoking tobacco and weed, and not using narcotics, not be obese, and get some exercise (150 minutes of walking a week gets you the majority of the benefits).

          We as a species simply tend to get plaques in the coronary arteries, even when we take statins and keep blood lipids within the desired range.

          Unless you're one of the lucky ones with the mutation that results in BOTH very low LDL and very high HDL, if heart disease runs in the family you're going to get plaque buildup in your coronary arteries. Low LDL by itself isn't sufficient.

          SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
          • (Score: 1) by NPC-131072 on Monday November 11 2019, @01:04AM

            by NPC-131072 (7144) on Monday November 11 2019, @01:04AM (#918769) Journal

            Diet doesn't beat genetics, no matter how much we wish that we could control outcomes by changing lifestyle.

            Where is my -1 Biological Determinism mod?

      • (Score: 2) by pdfernhout on Sunday November 10 2019, @07:20PM (3 children)

        by pdfernhout (5984) on Sunday November 10 2019, @07:20PM (#918674) Homepage [] []
        "The rate of premature heart disease among obese teens is set to triple, and the increasing prevalence of high blood pressure in children is a major culprit, experts warned at a news conference sponsored by the American Society of Hypertension. "The presence of child obesity results in higher rates of high blood pressure," which is a major risk factor for stroke and heart attack, said Bonita Falkner, MD, a professor of medicine and pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. "This is a problem that is not going to magically go away, and it puts children at risk for premature cardiac events at an earlier period in their adult lives.""

        If what you said about evolutionary pressures was entirely correct, why are many children now getting heart disease when they did not used to?

        See also Dr. Joel Fuhrman's writings for more evidence on how humans are adapted to eat a certain diet (mostly plants, especially leafy greens, but also fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and so on, with lots of omega 3s and no refined sugar) -- and why the further we stray from diet that the more health issues we see of all sorts.

        Of from another direction (including more lifestyle aspects like inadequate sleep): []
        "We were never designed for the sedentary, indoor, sleep-deprived, socially-isolated, fast-food-laden, frenetic pace of modern life. (Stephen Ilardi, PhD)"

        The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
        • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Sunday November 10 2019, @07:53PM (2 children)

          by barbara hudson (6443) <> on Sunday November 10 2019, @07:53PM (#918678) Journal
          Obesity. Says so in the very first sentence. You can eat a healthy diet and still be an obese slug spending all their time sitting in a classroom, a school bus, a car, and in front of a screen.

          Humans need a certain activity level to stay healthy, same as they should not smoke or take narcotics. All these will increase plaques deposits in the coronary arteries.

          But a normal level of activity, a healthy diet, etc, aren't sufficient to prevent deposits of plaques, they just hold it off from developing prematurely.

          Otherwise, statins should be sufficient, but while they lower serum cholesterol, they have zero influence on cardiovascular disease. You are your genetic destiny, and for many humans, until we find ways of increasing creation of HDL, we have a problem that is going in to continue inflicting damage among the 40-60 crowd.

          SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10 2019, @11:27PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10 2019, @11:27PM (#918729)

            You are making the same mistake most people do, as a result of heavy media marketing, that all calories are created equal. Just sitting around all day consumes way more calories than you would use in a single 30min exercise session. A seditary lifestyle is bad for many reasons, but one should not be anywhere near obese on a healthy diet.

            Your point about Jim Fixx, fitness guru who ran up to 80 miles a week and died of a heart attack at 52, is the point, excersise is not the deciding factor. Genetics plays some role, but diet is the key.

            • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Sunday November 10 2019, @11:52PM

              by barbara hudson (6443) <> on Sunday November 10 2019, @11:52PM (#918738) Journal
              Obesity in children never lets their heart develop properly. An immature heart isn't going to be able to tolerate lugging around 200 pounds 24/7, doesn't matter the source of calories. The cure is to charge the parents with child abuse. There's no excuse for an 8-year old kid to weigh 200-300 pounds.

              As for all calories not being the same, so what? LDL serum levels don't affect the buildup of fatty plaques on the arteries , or drugs that reduce serum cholesterol would reduce the rate of death from coronary artery disease. The only thing that reduces plaques is increasing production of HDL. Too bad we don't have drugs for that. But if you have the right mutations, you can eat fried eggs and hash browns every day, junk food, processed food, etc and have clean arteries. All that will happen is increased "bad" lipid intake will result in much higher HDL, while barely budging LDL levels.

              Unfortunately, most people with a mutation that affects LDL levels don't get the HDL mutation as well, so while their levels may be lower, they don't get the benefits - plaques still build up.

              SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 11 2019, @07:37AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 11 2019, @07:37AM (#918850)

        Way to shift the goal posts. You said that atherosclerosis only occurred in humans. That is wrong, and your only counter is that "most heart disease" has different causes. Which, if anything, is an admission that atherosclerosis occurs in other animals because "most" isn't all. But I'll just leave this tidbit from your own article:

        atherosclerosis was observed in the aorta and other major blood vessels in some of the chimpanzee necropsies

        • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday November 12 2019, @01:36AM (2 children)

          by barbara hudson (6443) <> on Tuesday November 12 2019, @01:36AM (#919184) Journal
          First off, "some" does not mean a significant number - when comparing other primates with humans, only humans have a genetic predisposition to buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries.

          Other primates do NOT have a predisposition to developing CVD, plain and simple.

          Basing an argument on an exception to the general case is stupid. I could make the same argument to claim that humans don't get CVD because I am one of those people with the mutation that gives me very low LRL, very high HDL, and nuclear medicine shows my arteries are clean as a whistle.

          I'm lucky because everyone in my family develops CVD, my father died of a heart attack at 47, my mother at 59 despite a pacemaker, my sister after a stent implanted at 42 and a quintuple bypass at 54 ... but both me and one of my sisters are in our 60s and we're clean as a whistle, with the same mutation.

          You can not with any scientific basis argue that humans have a predisposition to CVD - it's obvious just looking at the stats. I'll stick with my high fat high processed food diet, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to those who don't have the mutation.

          Maybe eventually the mutation will work it's way through the population, but I doubt it since CVD doesn't prevent reproduction, so no evolutionary pressure to favour it.

          SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 12 2019, @03:24AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 12 2019, @03:24AM (#919215)

            "Some" is greater than the "none" that was your original claim.

          • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14 2019, @06:10PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14 2019, @06:10PM (#920452)

            Barbara (tom) Hudson CHEMICALLY CASTRATED itself with estrogen since you failed as a man lol! You also FAIL as a "woman" you NEUTERED delusional freakazoid! What is is like knowing you are a living mockery? A parody of both a 'woman' or a man! You know that. Everyone knows it about you "TraNsTeSticLe" hohohohoho. Barbara Hudson is a twistoid mental case deluding itself it is a REAL woman. Clue: You will never EVER be able to pass a DNA test due to the fact you do not, nor did you ever, possess female mitochondrial material you crackpot weirdo. It isn't logical to attempt to "fix" bodyparts that work with no issues. You had a working (extremely small) penis and balls you sawed off with estrogen hahahaha! Barbara Hudson breaks laws by possessing a SAWED OFF SHOTGUN, rotflmao!