The FASEB Journal, 1 April, 2014
April 1, 2014 https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.14-0402ufm
Publisher: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
(The photo below is from a different interesting project.)
Dr. Jerome Lowenstein wrote a well-rounded essay, Agent Orange and Heart Disease: Is There a Connection? (LINK to pdf) about his experience helping a Vietnam veteran. Excerpts:
In August 2011, a patient asked if I would complete a
form that he had received from the Veterans Administration.
It was an Agent Orange Fast Track Claim for
Ischemic Heart Disease. I completed the form, which
requested that I provide evidence that my patient, who
had served in Vietnam and described his exposure to
Agent Orange, had arteriosclerotic heart disease. That
was not difficult, as he had already, at the age of 56,
undergone a coronary artery angioplasty and stent. I
was not aware of a connection between Agent Orange and coronary heart disease.
He provides an overview on Agent Orange and then explains some of the biological processes on humans.
The science behind the decision
It is a story worth telling. As a nephrologist, I have an
interest in chronic renal disease. Although much has
been written about the treatment of chronic renal
failure by dialysis since the ground-breaking work of
Belding Scribner (6), the scientific community has
gradually come to the realization that although dialysis treatment effectively ameliorates the symptoms—nausea, vomiting, itching, confusion, and
weakness—that define “uremia,” the long-term consequence of chronic renal failure, not corrected by dialysis, is ischemic heart
lowenstein PDF (3-pages)
This essay (with references) has been buried in the massive amount of medical research online but it deserves to be read and tweeted about!
NYU “about me” page with BIG photo and links to 90 publications (LINK)
Author page on Amazon (LINK)
I am grateful to this man for his practice, research, kindness–and for going the extra mile for veterans with his thoughtful essay. It took about two years for his patient to receive compensation and I have no doubt that he would still be on the hamster wheel if Dr. Lowenstein’s stellar reputation and comments were not a deciding factor. What VA examiner would dare contradict Dr. Lowenstein?
Good good doctor.
Related: NOVA Disability attorneys Matthew Hill & Carol Ponton discussion on AO and kidney disease. The connection between AO, diabetes and kidney cancer as secondary to DMII and ischemic heart disease as a presumptive AO disease.
“…You need to find a doctor who will look at the medical research, specifically, the chemicals you were exposed to. Anything that happened after service. Like, environmental exposures, or anything that you had hereditary. Meaning, somebody in your family had something similar. If you can role [sic] those out, show that’s service connected. There’s actually a huge piece of evidence out there, provided by the VA*…. have your doctor use that to write a link for you, showing that’s related.
You can service connected for this. You are going to have to fight all the way …”
*They refer to a Louisiana VA Medical Center study I haven’t located yet.