Purveyor of the best work from "independent producers worldwide" Icarus Films literally and figuratively brings things home with the September 11, 2018 DVD release of the 2016 French documentary "Cholesterol: The Great Bluff." The general spoiler is that the American and European doctors whom filmmaker Anne Georget gets to participate in "Bluff" reinforce every conclusion of skeptics regarding using cholesterol levels to predict the probability of heart disease.
The following YouTube video of a trailer for "Bluff" provides a good overview of the issue of cholesterol and of the common-sense debunking themes of the film.
"Bluff" quickly identifies '50s-era medical researcher Ancel Keys as Medical Professional Zero regarding the decades-long cholesterol scare that seems particularly prevalent in the United States. The genesis of this is the skyrocketing rate of middle-aged men having heart attacks in the post-war era. The film also cites sitting president Eisenhower having a heart attack as increasing the concern regarding this health problem.
All right-thinking individuals with moderate savvy regarding statistics in general and medical establishment positions regarding issues of broad public concern IMMEDIATELY know where Georget is headed. The missing link is how she will get there, The overall theme of the film is not far off from the old joke that tiger repellent works because there are not any tigers around.
A talking head who shares a Winston Churchill joke perfectly conveys the reliability of statistics such as those that allege to support a connection between high cholesterol and heart disease. The wisdom of Winnie is that the only statistics that he he trusts are those that he only personally doctors. Learning the extent to which Keys manipulates his data shows that he closely follows the philosophy of Churchill.
A related aspect of this is pure laziness and greed on the part of doctors and everyone else who profits from providing healthcare. A diversion into Blogland is that medical tests consistently showing levels that indicate a health problem prompted undergoing a procedure. The results being that that condition did not exist but that the doctor had no alternative diagnosis prompted that "professional" to suggest retesting in six months and your not-so-humble reviewer just stopping short of suggesting where that oaf can put his stethoscope.
A related aspect of the common sense approach of Georget discusses the role of cholesterol, the actual culprits regarding heart disease, and the concept that the house always wins. A bothersome segment focuses on a doctor essentially paying a "you'll never work in this town again" penalty for blowing the whistle on the cholesterol scam.
The lengthy analyses of cholesterol drugs takes things further. The aforementioned rationale beings already know that big pharma teams ups with doctors who run pill mills from their office to literally profit at our expense regarding unnecessary prescriptions for cholesterol drugs. Georget educates many of us regarding the extent to which such drugs do far more harm than good. A case study of a woman who is scared into seeing a doctor for no good reason puts an additional perspective on this.
One important element that Georget does not address is the duty of care that one reasonably should expect from a medical provider but sadly does not receive. A bimbo at a department store cologne counter who tells a wannabe playah that a $100 bottle of a designer fragrance will get him action is far different than a doctor who knows better essentially telling a patient to come with him if the patient wants to live.
Icarus provides more common sense medical advice regarding the DVD extra. It is the Georget 52-minute film "Branding Illnesses,." The "well duh" theme this time is the practice (pun intended) of big pharma creating diseases and then selling the drugs that cure them. This is an event more blatant case of putting commerce of art regarding the cholesterol scam.
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