Diet Guru Robert Atkins, On Life Support After Fall
Apr 11, 2003 2:20 pm US/Eastern
(1010 WINS) (NEW YORK) Internationally renowned low-carbohydrate diet Dr. Robert Atkins was in a coma and on life support Friday, suffering from head injuries sustained from a fall on icy pavement.
"While we are all hoping for a miracle, and every measure possible is being taken to save his life, his chances of a meaningful recovery are slim," said his spokesman, Richard Rothstein.
Employees of his Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in Manhattan were informed Friday morning that "he remains gravely ill," said Rothstein.
"He is in a coma and on life support" at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, Rothstein added.
Atkins' wife, Veronica, was by his side, he said.
Information about the doctor's condition was also posted on the center's Web site.
Atkins, 72, slipped and fell Tuesday, a day after a springtime snowstorm, at the corner of Third Avenue and 55th Street in midtown Manhattan, just yards from the Atkins Center. He underwent surgery the same day to remove a blood clot formed when he banged his head, but remained in critical condition.
Atkins is the author of the best-selling "Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution." His diet emphasizes meat, eggs and cheese and discourages bread, rice and fruit.
Long a source of controversy among nutritional experts who have favored a lowfat, high-carbohydrate approach, the Atkins diet has recently gained new adherents after several studies showed that people lost weight on it without compromising their health. The studies showed that Atkins dieters' cardiovascular risk factors and overall cholesterol profile changed for the better.
Rothstein said Atkins, a cardiologist, had still been seeing patients four days a week at the center, where he has practiced complementary medicine -- mainstream and alternative medicines. The center treats obesity and obesity-related diseases, which includes diabetics and patients with cardiovascular problems.