By Evan Short
A successful Irish businessman, who built his fortune by outfitting McDonald’s restaurant kitchens around the world, has turned his attention to informing the American public of the dangers of heart disease - which he claims are being hidden by mainstream medicine.
Dubliner David Bobbett, through his Irish-funded documentary entitled “The Widowmaker,” has highlighted the argument that heart attacks are not random events, but happen because of disease that can be easily, and cheaply, detected.
Four years ago, when he was 51, Bobbett found out that even though he always lived a healthy lifestyle, and had played plenty of sport, his body had the arteries of an 87-year-old man.
He found this out by taking a calcification test in hospital, a relatively simple procedure that the documentary claims is not made widely available because of “medical politics.”
Narrated by actress Gillian Anderson, and featuring Larry King, the documentary has been well received, picking up a Mass Impact Award at last year’s Boston Film Festival.
Nevertheless, Pat Caslin, from the Irish Heart Disease Awareness charity, told the Irish Echo that powerful interest groups were preventing calcification tests from being offered on a widespread basis.
“This test has been around for thirty years, but are you more likely to make money off a hundred dollar test, or a fifty thousand dollar stent operation?” Caslin said.
“There are over a thousand research papers that back what the film is saying. Cardiovascular diseases are the biggest killer of both men and women in the U.S. and globally, and the majority of heart attacks are completely preventable.”
One expert in the documentary says that the American healthcare system is not set up for prevention, but is rather geared to treat conditions, which is much more lucrative.
The documentary argues that by taking the hundred dollar test you can find out if you are at risk - and then take steps to prevent it.
The documentary, say its backers, is a hard-hitting film that pulls no punches, from the title, to the repeated message from the featured experts who claim that thousands of people could still be alive today had the test been made more widely available.
More information is available at www.widowmakerthemovie.com and the movie can be viewed on Amazon.