Heart disease  Toxic air  Vitamin D

Medical statistics which just don't add up...

Letter Daily Mail 16 March 2012

ONE of the astonishing things about my profession is its ability to hold rubbish theories, regardless of the evidence.

The falling incidence of heart disease can't be due to treatment or statins, because if you don't have a heart attack you aren't treated and the rate has fallen in those not on statins as fast as in those on them. Statistically, about 1 per cent of the decline in deaths could be due to treatment.

Heart disease in all countries is closely related to power station coal consumption. In Britain, both rise to a maximum in 1974 and fall steeply after 1978. Three-quarters of the fall occurred before statins were introduced. France and Japan have low rates of heart disease and no coal consumption. Mediterranean countries have a high saturated fat diet animal fat but a low heart disease rate. In the U.S., coal use and heart disease fall in line with each other. China has rising coal consumption and a rising incidence of heart disease. Why is this? Because sulphur dioxide from coal is injected by power stations into the stratosphere. It absorbs the 295nm band of UV, thereby reducing Vitamin D production in the skin. Low Vitamin D is closely associated with the risk of heart disease. When we ran the results of the World Health Organisation's 2003 Monica Project through Legal & General's computer, it gave no correlation between heart disease and obesity, no correlation between consumption of non-butter-fat and heart disease, a nearly perfect inverse correlation between butter-fat consumption and heart disease (so put that butter dish back on the table!) and no correlation between dietary vegetable consumption and heart disease.

Sorry, but that's four myths killed off in four statistical calculations. Obesity is, of course, correlated with diabetes and I didn't run the statistics on cancer. Meanwhile, exercise seems to help only if it's carried out outdoors so don't pay for a gym subscription. Among Vitamin D's 2,776 functions, it's responsible for immune response, shutting down cholesterol production and arterial wall repair. Not all of us can absorb dietary Vitamin D, so sunlight without a sulphur dioxide screen is essential. It's so simple I can't get a patent for it. Dr G.P. EDLIN, London NW8.