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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Cholesterol Lowering Drugs for the Elderly, a Very Bad Idea !

The words of Jeffrey Dach MD

Flawed and Corrupted Study

A 2008 publication by Jonathon Afilalo in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology concludes that," Statins reduce all-cause mortality in elderly patients and the magnitude of this effect is substantially larger than had been previously estimated. "  

Statistics Manipulated

This 2008 metanalysis by Afilalo is a statistical sleight of hand that gives the results opposite to reality.  Their conclusion is directly opposite to multiple previous studies.  Also, this published study had no Disclosure Statement, another warning sign of bias from authors receiving compensation from drug companies.

Lowering Cholesterol in the Elderly is a BAD IDEA

Contrary to the above flawed 2008 metanalysis, it is a very bad idea to lower the cholesterol levels in the elderly with statin drugs. An excellent article on the topic appeared on the Junk Food Science Blog.

Here's the evidence:

1) the Honolulu Heart Study published in Lancet 2001, showed that patients with the lowest cholesterol had the highest mortality.  The authors concluded,"These data cast doubt on the scientific justification for lowering cholesterol to very low concentrations  in elderly people."

2) Krumholz from Yale published his study in JAMA 1994 looking at elevated cholesterol to see if it was associated with increased all-cause mortality or heart disease.  He reported that elevated cholesterol was NOT a risk factor for mortality or heart disease.  He said,"our findings do not support the hypothesis that hypercholesterolemia or low HDL-C are important risk factors for all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease mortality, or hospitalization for myocardial infarction or unstable angina in this cohort of persons older than 70 years."

3) Beatrice Golomb MD in Geriatric Times 2004, reports that in the elderly, higher cholesterol is linked with improved survival.

She says, "While patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease receive mortality benefit from statins in studies predominating in middle-aged men (Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study Group, 1994), no trend toward survival benefit is seen in elderly patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease(Shepherd et al., 2002).   A less favorable risk-benefit profile may particularly hold for patients older than 85, in whom benefits may be more attenuated and risks more amplified (Weverling-Rijnsburger et al., 1997). In fact, in this older group, higher cholesterol has been linked observationally to improved survival." 

The above taken from here. Check this link out for much more very useful information.


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