The Esselstyn Heart Disease Program
The Esselstyn Heart Disease Program at Cleveland Clinic is based on the research of Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. MD and other physicians with a similar focus on plant-based nutrition. For the past ten years at Cleveland Clinic, over 1,000 patients have participated in Dr. Esselstyn’s program.
Participants and their spouse or significant other can attend a single day, 6-hour program. Hear from Dr. Esselstyn, learn how lifestyle choices contribute to the development and progression of cardiovascular disease and learn how to slow or reverse it.
Each participant receives two books:
- Learn about the science behind the development and progression of cardiovascular disease as well as the critical role that whole food, plant-based nutrition plays in its prevention and possible reversal.
- Plant-based cookbook.
Take home video of the entire session, plus a notebook with copies of the presentation, scientific articles, recipes and tips on adhering with the prescribed plant-based eating. This includes grocery shopping tips and how to follow our dietary recommendations while eating at restaurants.
What can I expect from the program?
Within the six-hour long program participants experience:
- Hear first-hand from an expert with 30 years’ experience in plant based nutrition. They'll explain food choices and preparation including specific examples of plant-based products.
- Several past participants explain their experience and share their story.
- Enjoy a plant-based lunch and ask your questions.
Participants remain in touch with Dr. Esselstyn by phone or email as necessary. View additional information about Dr. Esselstyn.
Due to the COVID pandemic, the course takes place virtually.
How This Program Works
How well does the program work?
Five of the 24 patients in Dr. Esselstyn’s initial study were told by cardiologists that they had less than a year to live. Yet, 12+ years later after following the Esselstyn Program they survived symptom free.
Symptoms diminished (and often disappeared) within eight to 12 weeks of starting the program. Within months, these dramatic changes occurred:
- Cholesterol lowered: Patients’ average total cholesterol levels dropped from 246 mg/dL to 137 mg/dL.
- No cardiac events: Before the study, the patients had 49 cardiac events (coronary bypass surgery, angioplasties, etc.). None of the patients who adhered to the eating plan experienced a cardiac event within 12 years of follow-up.
- Excellent angiograms: Patients’ angiograms showed a widening of the coronary arteries — a reversal of heart disease.
Is the Esselstyn Program covered by insurance?
Insurance does not currently cover this program, it is considered self-pay. The $800 fee covers a patient and a guest. Please ask about our interest-free payment plans. For those who choose a payment plan, we ask that you pay by credit card and have future payments automatically charged monthly. Once you have registered, Dr. Esselstyn will give you a personal phone call to discuss your medical history and he will review your medical records. Please send in the following for physician review:
- Any outside cardiac medical records
- Your most recent lipid profile