br />Dispensing Statin Anti-Cholesterol Pills by Wikimedia Commons
article takes a critical look at statin anti-cholesterol drugs, and asks the hard questions. Do statin drugs work? Who do they
work for? Who do they harm? Who should be taking them, and who
should not be taking them? Examples of Statin Drugs are
Lipitor, Zocor, Simvastatin, Pravachol, Crestor, Mevacor, etc. These
drugs reduce the production of cholesterol by the liver by inhibiting an
enzyme called HMG-CoA. Due to a belief that
cholesterol causes coronary artery disease, statin drug reduction of cholesterol
is a mainstream medical treatment intended to prevent heart disease. Do statin drugs prevent coronary artery disease, heart attacks and mortality from heart disease? This article will answer that question.
many decades of study and clinical trials, it has become clear that the
benefit of statin drugs (if there is any) is probably not due to
reduction in cholesterol, rather it is due to an anti-inflammatory effect of the drug.(link)
statin drugs inhibit the production of an important mitochondrial
cofactor called Co-Q10, accounting for adverse effects as mitochondrial
toxins. In addition, a low serum cholesterol level is a health risk for
many reasons. Cholesterol is an important molecule in the body, and
reducing cholesterol to low levels is associated with increased
mortality and adverse effects on health. (27)
Asking A Few Questions
In this article we will revisit anti-cholesterol statin drugs while asking the following questions:
1) What is the efficacy for statin drugs in primary prevention of heart disease (in normal healthy people)?
2) What is the efficacy of statin drugs in secondary prevention (patients with known underlying heart disease)?
3) Which subgroups benefit from statin drugs, and which subgroups of the population are harmed by statin drugs?
The Elderly - Low Serum Cholesterol Predicts Increased Mortality
let's take a look at the medical practice of prescribing statin
anti-cholesterol drugs for the elderly. Contrary to current dogma,
higher cholesterol levels in the elderly are not a heath risk. Studies
show that higher cholesterol in the elderly is associated with increased
survival, while lower total serum cholesterol values in the elderly are
a robust predictor of increased mortality. (1, 4,5)
The Prosper Study - Statins for the Elderly
statin drugs are given to the elderly to reduce cholesterol values as
was done in the PROSPER study, there was no mortality benefit for either
primary or secondary prevention of heart disease. (1,6,7) True, there
was a reduction in cardiac mortality of about 20% in the secondary
prevention group in the Prosper study, however, this was counterbalanced
by an increase in cancer mortality, yielding no over-all mortality
benefit in the final analysis.
Women- No Mortality Benefit from Statins
the best summary of the results of three decades of statin drug studies
in women can be found in the Judith Walsh MD report in JAMA May 2004.
(8) Again, Dr Walsh found that statin drug treatment to reduce
cholesterol in women provided no mortality benefit in both primary and
secondary prevention of heart disease. As we found in the PROSPER study
for the elderly, statin drug use in women (with known heart disease)
resulted in a reduction in mortality from heart disease, and a reduction
in heart attacks in this secondary prevention group, however, this was
offset by additional deaths from cancer and other mortality which
yielded no over-all mortality benefit in the final analysis. (8)
MEN and Women- Primary Prevention- Dr Ray Archives of Internal Medicine
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