QUICKLINKS AND VIEW OPITONS
More Grist To The Mill By Dr. Malcolm Kendrick (Stress causes heart disease and diabetes)
Monday, January 25, 2010 4:07 pm Email this article
"Recent and soon to be published research reveals that soldiers who fought in theatres as diverse as Vietnam and Lebanon are not only more likely to die from an accident on their return, but are also twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even cancer later in life."
— New Scientist, Aug. 27, 2005
For some time now, I have been banging on about the fact that “stress” causes diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Of course, my definition of stress, or a stressor, is any factor that can lead to a long-lasting dysfunction of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA-axis). This definition may seem — and probably is — a bit pedantic. But it does have the advantage of being reasonably accurate. That is more than can be said for the word “stress,” which can mean all things to all men.
(This article was written by Malcolm Kendrick, MD, author of the wonderful, eye-opening, paradigm-shifting book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It .) Stress Causes Heart Disease and Diabetes?
Stress causes heart disease and diabetes?
My pedantic definition also helps to bring together a whole series of seemingly unrelated risk factors for heart disease and diabetes such as: depression, physical trauma, spinal cord injury, use of steroids, smoking and psychological stress. All of which can in some, but not all, individuals lead to HPA-axis dysfunction.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder linked to diabetes and heart disease
I had always believed, without any supportive evidence it must be said, that soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would be at greatly increased risk of heart disease and diabetes — primarily because PTSD is characterized by a low cortisol level, which points directly at an HPA-axis dysfunction. (See previous columns for clearer explanation.) Up to now, there was no evidence linking PTSD to diabetes and heart disease. Now there is.
Hypotheses Should Be Able to Predict Events
If a hypothesis is true, it should predict findings or events
Changing tack slightly, I tend to believe that the best test of any hypothesis is whether it is capable of predicting findings, or events. Once something has happened, it is always possible to come up with some explanation as to why it happened. This type of science is normally called economics, a science that can inevitably tell you why something took place — e.g., the Great Depression — but can never actually tell you what is going to happen hereafter — e.g., the next Great Depression. This is why economics has been dubbed the dismal science, requiring copious use of a “retrospectoscope.”
Equally, in the world of heart disease, everyone can give you an explanation of why rates of heart disease went up, then down, in various parts of the world. And why this all fits perfectly with established dogma — even when it clearly doesn’t.
Predictions for Heart Disease
Predictions for heart disease—heart disease is primarily a disease triggered by underlying psychological trauma
However, emboldened by research on soldiers and PTSD, I will stick my neck out and make a few predictions about the future rates of heart disease in various populations around the world. (Please print off this article, put it in a sealed container and open it in 50 years — then honor me posthumously with a Nobel Prize.)
- The rate of heart disease in former Eastern European countries — e.g., Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Slovenia, Croatia — will fall and continue to fall for the next 30 years. (Assuming Russia doesn’t invade again.)
- The rate of heart disease in troops sent to Iraq will rise sharply.
- The rate of heart disease in China will rise rapidly over the next 40 years. (Unless their economy collapses, which could, of course, lead to major social problems.)
- The rate of heart disease in Mexico will become the highest in the world.
- In the U.S., the rate of heart disease in immigrants at the lower end of the social scale will become very high.
- Survivors of Hurricane Katrina will end up with high rates of heart disease.
- Rates of heart disease in the U.S., amongst Caucasians, will continue to fall.
In general, my prediction is that stable populations will see rates of heart disease fall. Unstable populations, and traumatized populations, will continue to see rates rise. What I cannot predict for certain is which populations will remain stable and untraumatized. However, this latest study of combat troops once again demonstrates that heart disease is primarily a disease triggered by underlying psychological trauma, creating a real and measurable physiological upset.
Article Previous Published on THINCS.org
This article was previously published on THINCS.org
This article was previously published on THINCS.org (The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics).
I republished the article here with Dr. Kendrick’s permission.
Malcolm Kendrick’s Contact Info
Malcolm Kendrick, MD is the author of the wonderful, eye-opening, paradigm-shifting book book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It .)
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