Letters to and From the Editor
Exercise and heart disease
The July issue contains an article ("Exercise and Heart Disease”) by Dr. Samuel A. Levine of the greatest importance not only for the nonmedical public but also for physicians. Equally important will be the impact of this article on attorneys for insurance companies, as well as for applicants and any legal and quasilegal bodies, like industrial commissions, which may have something to do with decisions concerning compensation insurance for heart disease conditions related to employment or accident. For years, I, along with countless other physicians, have maintained that coronary artery disease of the acute variety — namely, either coronary thrombosis with myocardial infarction or angina pectoris with or without ensuing myocardial damage — is frequently related to conditions of employment, severe physical effort, acute anxiety, and other emotional disturbances. It was high time that someone as sage as Dr. Levine expressed himself about the nonsense concerning the value of exercise for patients with heart conditions. NORBERT ENZER, M.D.
Having learned from Dr. Samuel Levine forty years ago about all I know or care to know about heart disease, I trust his conclusions about “Exercise and Heart Disease" because of my confidence in his judgment, rather than because of the evidence he adduces, which seems to me not entirely convincing.
Dr. Levine recalls reading in the morning newspapers, after a heavy snowstorm, the distressing list of men who succumbed after shoveling snow. But newspapers only headline cardiac deaths after snowstorms; in fine weather such deaths are not newsworthy. I suspect that a statistician might be interested to know whether an equally distressing list might not be compiled almost any morning of the year of men over fifty who succumbed without having touched a shovel of any sort.
Still, I agree with Dr. Levine and confine my own exercise to a daily walk — not very brisk either, especially when the thermometer is above 90 degrees.
ROBERT W. BUCK, M.D.
Secretary, Massachusetts Medical Society Boston, Mass.
“I, personally . . .
Congratulations are due you for making available to your readers the article “Albania: The Last Marxist Paradise” (June Atlantic).
Within this Albanian Marxist state, in northern Epirus, live many thousands of Greek families in an area which the Albanian terrorists call Southern Albania.
As an expression of gratitude to the author, James Cameron, the Panepirotic Federation of America is awarding him “The Northern Epirus Aid for Freedom Award.”BASIL J. PHOTOS, M.D.
Panepirotic Federation of America
James Cameron’s piece richly deserves its first place in your June issue. Its delightful humor, its sensitivity in observation, its admirable style exercise a charm that is irresistible. It reminds the reader of the great pleasure to be had in reading Cameron’s book Mandarin Red, published some eight years ago, in which he gave his readers a lively, impartial, and penetrating appraisal of Communist China, born of the shrewd, close observation of a gifted journalist. BENJAMIN H. KIZER
Your June issue was excellent. “Endure the Night” by Loren Eiseley was one of the most exciting pieces I have ever read. His seemingly rambling night thoughts led to some startling truths. Even while being intensely personal and introspective, he became somehow the spokesman for all civilized men. What a blessing that Mr. Eiseley doesn’t resort to sleeping tablets like the rest of us! MRS. BERNARD GLASSMAN
Oklahoma City, Okla.
May the intimate friend for whom I prepared a will two weeks ago (without compensation, but with vast satisfaction) and I join your Jessica Mitford (“The Undertakers’ Racket,” June Atlantic) as charter members of Burial Beatniks of America, Inc.? This is the provision which should qualify us:
“I abhor the so-called profession of undertaking and all its concomitants and it is my earnest desire that no levy shall be made on my estate by any member of that putrescent calling. I therefore direct that, immediately after my death, my body shall be delivered to the University of Virginia hospital for whatever disposition the management of that institution may deem appropriate. In her will, executed contemporaneously with this, my wife has consented to this disposition of my body, and I hereby consent to the identical disposition of her body which is provided for in her said will.”
This provision is not in the least copyrighted: I shall be glad to have it used widely. It should give the bandits serious trouble. A. J. G. PRIEST
University of Virginia Law School