While people might lose weight in the short-term from a ketogenic diet, I already have high blood pressure, and I am worried about someday dying of heart disease:
It is known Robert Atkins did indeed weather a heart attack during his lifetime. In April 2002, the diet guru issued a statement saying he was recovering from cardiac arrest related to a heart infection he had suffered from “for a few years.” He said it was “in no way related to diet.”
However, revelations in February 2004 from the city medical examiner’s report let slip the information that Atkins had suffered a heart attack, congestive heart failure, and hypertension, before his death. The report was given to the Journal by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group that advocates vegetarianism. Because the medical examiner’s office is claiming this information was circulated in error, it may not be possible at this time to determine if what was in that report referred to events that immediately preceded (and therefore might have caused) the doctor’s death, or if they were in reference to damage done over the course of a lifetime. (The report had been sent to a doctor in Nebraska who requested it. It was later discovered the person it was sent to was not “the treating physician” and so should not have had access to the report.) At present, the medical examiner’s office will only say Atkins died of a head injury from the fall. “I can’t comment on people’s previous conditions. It’s against the law,” said spokeswoman Ellen Borakove.
It needs be kept in mind that even if the medical examiner’s office does become more forthcoming, it still may not be able to answer the question of whether a heart attack brought about the demise of Dr. Atkins. An autopsy was not performed on him because of family objections to the procedure. Consequently, the medical examiner conducted only an external exam and a review of Atkins’ hospital records.