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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Have benefits of statins been exaggerated? Advocates distorted statistics and downplayed side-effects say experts !

The benefits of taking statins have been exaggerated, two leading experts claim.

They say the cholesterol-lowering medicines – hailed as miracle drugs when they hit the market 20 years ago – are not as safe or effective at preventing heart attacks as patients have been led to believe.

Although they can dramatically cut cholesterol levels, they have ‘failed to substantially improve cardiovascular outcomes’, says an analysis of data in clinical trials.

It was carried out by Dr David Diamond, a professor of molecular pharmacology at the University of South Florida, and expert in cardiovascular disease Dr Uffe Ravnskov.

They say many studies touting statins’ efficacy have failed to note serious side effects. They also claim ‘statistical deception’ has been used to make inflated claims about their effectiveness, which has misled the public.

The two authors say in the analysis, published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology: ‘The adverse effects suffered by people taking statins are more common than reported in the media and at medical conferences.

‘Increased rates of cancer, cataracts, diabetes, cognitive impairments and musculoskeletal disorders more than offset the modest cardiovascular benefits of statin treatment.’

They conclude: ‘There is a great appeal to the public to take a pill that offers the promise of a longer life and to live heart attack free.

‘The reality, however, is that statins actually produce only small beneficial effects on cardiovascular outcomes, and their adverse effects are far more substantial than is generally known.’

In July, NHS rationing body Nice said statins should be given to 17million patients, almost 40 per cent of the adult population.

The US experts say those who champion the medication have often presented data in a way that exaggerates the benefits.

Full story here.



Launna said...

My cholesterol levels were high and my doctor gave me a pill, the lowest dosage to help with it... after a year she doubled it which was still very low... within two weeks I could barely walk ... I kept thinking to myself... what had changed? I suddenly thought of the pill being increased and went on line... I found it was one of the side effects. All I could think was REALLY?... I stopped taking it that day and a year later I started my journey of eating right and exercising.

I had my cholesterol levels measured a year after and my doctor was happy to tell me that I brought the numbers down on my own, better than when I was taking the pill... I still have some work to do but I am on a good path...

We as humans want the easy way out but with that comes side effects and consequences... Sometimes the best things for us is to actually put in the hard work... (and no, I don't think it is easy at all but it truly is worth it )

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Launna and thanks for your comment. Interesting to read about your experience. I think many of us 'humans' have got so used to reaching for the miracle pill that will cure all

For many illnesses pills, operations etc are needed but for others simply by changing lifestyle, your diet can make huge differences.

All the best Jan