Elevated iron levels causes vascular damage. How do we know that lowering iron would not lower the possibility of restenosis? Also, it would be a lot cheaper, I cannot imagine having to redo this operation every 18 months. Who has that kind of moolah?
The evidence from many scientific studies suggests that high iron levels (above 200 mcg per liter blood ferritin), may lead to an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease. The increased risk may be due to oxidative damage to the heart and blood vessels and increased oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
A study published in 1998 in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that men and women, particularly those over 60, are at increased risk of heart disease if they have high levels of iron in their diets. The study, which was conducted in Greece, involved 329 patients with heart disease and 570 people of similar age who were admitted to hospital with minor conditions believed to be unrelated to diet. Results showed that for every 50 mg increase in iron intake per month, men over 60 were 1.47 times more likely to have heart disease than their peers. In women over 60, the risk was even higher, with a 3.61-fold risk for every 50 mg increase.7
In a paper published in 1997, Austrian researchers involved in the Bruneck study investigated the links between serum ferritin concentrations and the five-year progression of carotid atherosclerosis in 826 men and women aged 40 to 79 years old. Serum ferritin was one of the strongest risk predictors of overall progression of atherosclerosis, probably due to increased oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Changes in iron stores during the follow-up period modified atherosclerosis risk, in that a lowering was beneficial and further iron accumulation exerted unfavorable effects. High serum ferritin and LDL cholesterol also increased the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.8
Another study published in 1998 in the American Heart Association journal Circulation suggests that men with high levels of stored iron in the body have an increased risk of heart attack. The Study, which was done in Finland, involved 99 men who had had at least one heart attack and 99 healthy men matched for background and age. The results showed that those men with the highest iron levels had almost three times the risk of heart attack when compared with those with the lowest levels.9
Donating blood may help prevent a heart attack according to a 1998 study reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The results of a Finnish study showed that middle aged men who gave blood had an 88 percent lower risk of heart attack than those who had not donated. In a group of 2862 men, less than 1 percent of the blood donors had heart attacks compared with 12.5 percent of the non-donors.10
Some studies have shown that iron can inhibit tumor development while others have shown that it might enhance it. Iron may increase the risk of cancer through its effect on free radical formation. In some population studies, high iron levels have been associated with an increased risk of throat and gastrointestinal cancers while others have not shown links.11 Results from a study assessing the links between body iron stores and cancer in 3287 men and 5269 women participating in the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I) found an increased risk with high iron levels.12 Some experts believe that the findings of increased risk are due to causes such as defects in iron metabolism, rather than diet alone.
High iron levels may also worsen the joint inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis. High iron levels may also lead to an increased risk of infection as iron is necessary for bacterial growth. Vitamin A supplementation may help to control the adverse effects in areas where infections are prevalent.13