kitchen table math, the sequel: the "China Study" abstract and the soldiers

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

the "China Study" abstract and the soldiers

From time to time, I mention T. Colin Campbell's The China Study: a terrific book. A few minutes ago, I found what I think is probably the main abstract from the published study, so I'm posting the link:

Diet, lifestyle, and the etiology of coronary artery disease: the Cornell China study.
Am J Cardiol. 1998 Nov 26;82(10B):18T-21T.

I went looking for Campbell & Esselstyn after reading Megan McArdle's post arguing that the biggest risk factor for heart disease is age. I'm pretty sure that's not true (as I recall, the biggest risk factor is diet), so I went looking for the incidence of heart disease amongst the Chinese peasants Campbell studied.

While I was at it, I remembered this passage from Esselstyn's book:
Autopsies of soldiers during the Korean and Vietnam Wars showed the effects of America's artery-clogging diet even on the very young. The arteries of Asian soldiers were largely clean, free of fatty deposits. But almost 80 percent of American battlefield casualties showed gross evidence of coronary artery disease--clogging and damage that, had the soldiers lived, would have grown worse with every passing decade. 
I think this passage, more than anything else I've read, was the shocker for me.


Barry Garelick said...

The biggest risk for heart disease is reading Megan McArdle The second biggest risk is taking her seriously.

Stuart Buck said...

The China Study seems wrong in a number of respects, as explained in great detail here:

The blockquote about American casualties strikes me as very odd: who was autopsying all of these battlefield deaths, and why?

Jen said...

That link is awesome -- I surely needed another blog on which to spend way too much time!