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To the Editor.—
Ornish et al have described a project that investigated the effect of stress control and dietary changes on the course of ischemic heart disease. They reported a remarkable 91% decrease in anginal episodes and 55% increase in work performance after 24 days in a controlled environment. Their intent was commendable, but the report's value is limited by the number of uncontrolled variables and the fact that some elements of their program are not sustainable over time by most of our population.One planned intervention was a vegan diet averaging 1,400 calories daily. It caused a mean weight loss of 0.19 kg/day (0.42 lb/day) in the experimental subjects, while the weight of the control subjects remained constant. One might believe that weight loss of this magnitude introduces a variable in addition to the types of foods permitted, although the authors state that their statistical analysis indicates otherwise.The
Gillette RD. Treatment of Ischemic Heart Disease. JAMA. 1983;250(13):1695. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340130025019
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