I know the Japanese have very high stroke rates because they have high blood pressure probably due to the enormous amount of salt they consume. This article points to lowering blood pressure rather than giving up a mostly plant based diet.
You will also notice on Esselstyn's website that although there were no cardiac events in compliant subjects, the reversal was selective in some arteries and what threw me for a loop was that in some arteries there was progression! This fact was not in his book. So if I were writing a book, I would not say that his diet (plus statins) makes you heart attack proof, but greatly decreases your chances of a cardiac event. Why the reversal in some arteries and the progression in others? (Did I report the exclusion of diabetic patients on this group?)
If you scroll down to the information on angiographies of the patients it looks to me like seven were excluded and in some of these, heart disease progressed. Was this kosher to exclude these? While Esselstyn reports no cardiac events over 12 years or more, it looks like artery disease is progressing. Why no cardiac events? I think the diet is a good one but maybe not all that good. His patients also were taking cholesterol lowering meds.
Also, none of the patients was a smoker, diabetic or hypertensive. I did not think that you could escape hypertension if you had artery disease. I am very confused. I wrote to him once and asked if any of his patients were diabetic and didn't receive and answer, but found it in his discussion of the results. I cannot judge on my own MI because I was not following his diet 100%. However, would the results have been different if some of his patients were diabetic? Even if they were controlled as I was but nevertheless had an MI despite normal fasting and A1c levels.
Esselstyn did prevent eating carbs with fat but I do not think his diet was low carb. As a matter of fact it seemed to be very high carb with recipes using pasta, rice, potatoes, whole wheat buns, couscous etc. I do not remember any restriction on starchy carbs.
which might explain why someone on H's diet and someone on a plant based high carb diet might each be heart healthy despite the radically different diets. My own D level was 11. Not very good. I hesitate to take D pills because I think I read that while the pills might raise the D levels, they seem to do nothing to lower heart disease, cancer etc.
In science, don't we expect others to be able to repeat an experiment and have the results duplicated? I believe you would consider such results anecdotal without peer review and duplication. I also read of an Atkins study in which they advised the subjects to eat as much plant protein as possible. Hardly a typical Atkins diet.
I know you mentioned you have children who still seem to be living at home so you can't be all that old. I'm guessing I could have been your babysitter given the difference in our ages. So if you are your normal weight with no diabetes it is likely that you are healthy. But I, even with diabetes and still being overweight, was less than 2 months from my 69th birthday when I had an MI. And found out my arteries weren't in great shape.
I have cousins in their 80's whose diets would be called SAD, conforming neither to your diet nor a plant based diet, who are in perfectly good health and will probably live to be quite old. Some people just won the gene lottery.
Didn't Kwasniewski also say that you could get the same results using a whole foods diet without fat but you couldn't mix the two?
Please believe me that I am not an apostle for plant based low fat eating but had to make a choice. If I were convinced to use another way of eating I would do it with gusto. I would eat the family pet if I thought it would improve my health.