Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Blood-Letting or Phlebotomy: A New Use for a Medieval Technique?

Some studies have suggested the role of increased body iron stores in development of cardio-vascular disease. Blood- letting or phlebotomy is a procedure involving removal of a part of person’s blood- decreasing body iron stores. What about effect of blood-letting on heart attacks and strokes- two vascular diseases?
An article published in Feb14, 2007 issue of the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) studied the effects of blood-letting on death rate, heart attacks and strokes. All the study volunteers had peripheral arterial disease (P.A.D.).This study did not show any particular benefit of phlebotomy. However, the patients aged between 43 and 61 fared better after phlebotomy.

Pro-Per™ points:
- There is no indication so far that blood-letting will help patients with heart or vascular diseases.
- We are concerned that high iron stores may be responsible for cardiovascular disease. As a simple measure- especially for males- it may be helpful to make sure your daily vitamin does not contain iron.
- Research has shown that weight reduction and exercise help decrease iron stores- another reason for losing weight and exercising.

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