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Statement on the Status of Dr. Robert C. Atkins' Health From Dr. Atkins and From the Chief Executive Officer/President of the Atkins Companies

Thursday April 25, 2002

Press Release

SOURCE: The Atkins Companies

NEW YORK, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday April 18, Dr. Robert C. Atkins, the well-known nutrition expert and best selling author, did, in fact, experience cardiac arrest during breakfast. He was quickly revived by an associate and taken to the hospital. As this was not a heart attack (or myocardial infarction), but a cardiac arrest related to an infection of the heart he has been suffering from for a few years. Dr. Atkins experienced a speedy recovery and was released from the hospital on Wednesday, April 24. In fact, Dr. Atkins hopes to return to his responsibilities, including local speaking engagements and as chairman of the Dr. Robert C. Atkins Foundation, within the next week or so. His doctors have advised him to curtail his travel plans for the next 30 days as a precautionary measure.

The cause of this event was cardiomyopathy, not blocked arteries. Over the last couple of years, Dr. Atkins has had an infection of the heart muscle (called the myocardium) contracted during an overseas trip. Coupled with the extreme heat conditions of mid-April here in New York, the 71-year old Dr. Atkins suffered this event.

``We have been treating this condition, cardiomyopathy, for almost two years,'' explains Patrick Fratellone MD, Dr. Atkins' personal physician and cardiologist, ``and during the course of diagnosis, we discovered that Dr. Atkins' coronary arteries were normal as diagnosed by an angiogram performed at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital on the upper west side of New York City in April of 2001. Clearly, his own nutritional protocols have left him, at the age of 71, with an extraordinarily healthy cardiovascular system. Unfortunately, the infection-related cardiomyopathy is totally another matter.''

``I have had cardiomyopathy, which is a non-coronary condition and is in no way related to diet,'' says Dr. Atkins.

Cardiac arrest is an event in which the heart abruptly stops. It is not the same thing as heart attack in which the heart is severely deprived of oxygen but still beating. Certainly a heart attack (or myocardial infarction) is one of the known causes of cardiac arrest, but there are several others that have nothing to do with blocked arteries and other problems typically associated with a heart attack.

Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart's ability to pump blood is weakened because of enlargement, thickening or stiffening of the heart muscle. In Dr. Atkins' case, this cardiomyopathy was caused by an infection that spread to his heart muscle.

``Up until today, this has been a personal and private family matter for Dr. Atkins. It is unfortunate for the family that it has not remained so,'' said Paul Wolff, Chief Executive Officer/President of The Atkins Companies. ``The Atkins Nutritional Approach(TM) is based on controlled carbohydrate nutritional science and has helped millions of people achieve their goals of weight loss, weight maintenance, good health and increased energy for the past 30 years.''

SOURCE: The Atkins Companies

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