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Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease?
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zonk Offline

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Post: #1
Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease?
Recently 2 parts television program (Catalyst) about cholestrol lowering drugs which challenges the convention that saturated fat is linked to heart disease and the possibility benefits of the drugs has been exaggerated. It caused quite a stir and some specialist and heart foundation gone to war with the TV station and demanded the show to be stopped

Heart of the Matter Part 1 - Dietary Villains
http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3876219.htm

Heart of the Matter Part 2 - Cholesterol Drug War
http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3881441.htm

ABC TV program Catalyst accused of encouraging people to go off cholestrol medication
http://www.smh.com.au/national/abc-tv-pr...z2kksB68JO
11-15-2013 05:43 PM
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Don in Austin Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease?
(11-15-2013 05:43 PM)zonk Wrote:  Recently 2 parts television program (Catalyst) about cholestrol lowering drugs which challenges the convention that saturated fat is linked to heart disease and the possibility benefits of the drugs has been exaggerated. It caused quite a stir and some specialist and heart foundation gone to war with the TV station and demanded the show to be stopped

Heart of the Matter Part 1 - Dietary Villains
http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3876219.htm

Heart of the Matter Part 2 - Cholesterol Drug War
http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3881441.htm

ABC TV program Catalyst accused of encouraging people to go off cholestrol medication
http://www.smh.com.au/national/abc-tv-pr...z2kksB68JO

The cholesterol in your bloodstream is mostly the cholesterol your liver feels it need to make, not what you eat. If your liver has a need to make excessive cholesterol you should look at why rather than take a liver toxin.

The war on dietary animal fats has been a dismal failure in terms of reducing heart disease.

Here is a quote from [link removed] "Adding ZETIA to a statin is proven to help reduce cholesterol more than a statin alone. Unlike some statins, ZETIA has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks."
I'll bet it hurts them to be forced to disclose that lowering cholesterol in itself does nothing to reduce the risk of heart problems! Zetia is a non-statin cholesterol lowering drug.

The American Heart Association is funded almost entirely by pharmaceutical giants. It is a lobbyist organization.

Can it really be a coincidence that as the patent on Lipitor ran out, there was all of a sudden a push to get a huge percentage of the child population on statins?

The dangers and bad side effects of statins are hardly as rare as the big pharma companies would like you to believe. I know of several dramatic and even life-threatening examples among my peers.

Sad to say, doctors have a lot of bias. Ask your doctor(s) where they receive their mandatory annual continuing education. My wife asked hers -- bear in mind she is picky about her doctors and probably picks doctors much more open-minded than average -- and they all conceded that their "continuing education" was essentially a paid vacation where pharma companies talked up their latest products.

Thoughtful heart doctors report that they have plenty of heart attack patients with low cholesterol levels. The party line answer to this is that standards for cholesterol level have to be made even lower and met by even more massive and widespread doses of statins, but the thoughtful answer, is "Hmmm maybe this whole thing need to be reconsidered."

The famous frequently quoted Framington study does not actually support the lipid theory of heart disease causation: http://blog.sethroberts.net/2007/10/09/w...ham-study/

I will continue to no longer drink sodas, greatly limit consumption of any high-glycemic index food, stay away from trans fats and keep riding my bicycle 100 miles/week and going to the gym twice a week. Guess what? No statins, no blood pressure meds and my triglycerides are way down, HDL is through the roof. My H1abc and C-Reactive protein numbers way down. All these indicators are far better now without help of meds at age 67 than they were 5 years ago before I started eating better and exercising seriously. My definition of eating better does NOT exclude steak and butter.

Something that is NOT good for my blood pressure: The TV ad for statins that says "When diet and exercise or not enough..." Essentially this is encouragement to abandon responsibility for your lifestyle and your health and take a pill instead. NO THANKS!!!

Statins may have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the chance of a second heart attack somewhat. When something messes with your system as profoundly as statins do, it is to be expected that there could be some specific benefit under some circumstances, but the overall picture is pretty negative IMHO.

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11-15-2013 08:53 PM
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cbramsey Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease?
The thing is most of the statins that are out there are already available as generics.

There is NO money to be made with statins.

If revenue for the drug companies were the underlying cause, we would have had this push to put everyone on statins years ago.

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11-16-2013 08:35 AM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease?
On the whole, over here we try to avoid prescribing statins in healthy people - there are enough side effects that measly % betterment of mortality rates is outweighed by the negative effects that can be caused by statins. Moreover, new guidelines actually remove the LDL calculations in working out prescription levels, and for good reason - we are realising that influencing LDL and HDL via diet and exercise has a markedly different effect than doing it by drugs, so marked, in fact, that new US guidelines eliminate it altogether, not for the benefit of patients, but for drug companies, I feel.

Statins are effective for people with known heart disease. But for people who have less than a 20 percent risk of getting heart disease in the next 10 years, statins not only fail to reduce the risk of death, but also fail even to reduce the risk of serious illness. Based on the same data the new guidelines rely on, a recent study in the BMJ showed 140 people in the risk group would need to be treated with statins in order to prevent a single heart attack or stroke, without any overall reduction in death or serious illness.

At the same time, 18 percent or more of this group would experience side effects, including muscle pain or weakness, decreased cognitive function, increased risk of diabetes (especially for women), cataracts or sexual dysfunction.

Hence, we have decided over here to not accept the new guidelines, and follow established, conservative process. There simply isn't enough evidence to support a widening of the guidelines. If anything, a narrowing should be considered, because the lack of evidence based on actual mortality rates.

Statins mostly provide false reassurances that may discourage patients from taking the steps that actually reduce cardiovascular disease. According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of cardiovascular disease is caused by smoking, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, and other lifestyle factors. Statins give the illusion of protection to many people, who would be much better served, for example, by simply walking an extra 10 minutes per day. So, to repeat my oft heard saw here, lose weight and exercise and you'll live, if not longer, at least better.

I have a lot of problems with current and new thinking on statins. When the last US guidelines were issued by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in 2001, they nearly tripled the number of Americans for whom cholesterol-lowering drug therapy was recommended — from 13 million to 36 million. These guidelines were reportedly based strictly on results from clinical trials. But this was contradicted by the data described in the document itself (one example could be that even though the guidelines recommended that women between the ages of 45 and 75 at increased risk of heart disease and with relatively high LDL levels take statins, the fine print in the 284-page document admitted, “Clinical trials of LDL lowering generally are lacking for this risk category.” In other words, there is nothing to support the recommendation based on actual science, only on hopeful guessing). In Switzerland, France and Germany, where these guidelines were examined with great scepticism, such an expansion did not happen.

The general lack of evidence for LDL level targets is why they have been dropped from the current guidelines. Committee members noted that cholesterol lowered by drugs may not have the same effect as cholesterol lowered by nondrug methods, such as diet, exercise and being lucky enough to have good genes. So there you go.

I hope that has made it a bit clearer for you. If you are at risk, then you take statins, if your risk factor is below 20, then don't. And ten minutes every three days on a stepper would do you more than a statin a day in most cases. In fact, according to interesting new research in Scotland, pushing yourself to your maximum three times for three minutes each with a 90 second pause in between every second or third day would be more than enough to lower the LDL Cholesterol naturally and even help you to lose weight. AND DON'T SMOKE!

'nuff said.
(This post was last modified: 11-16-2013 11:06 AM by DocWils.)
11-16-2013 11:02 AM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease?
I found that by using krill oil, flax seed and flax seed oil and limiting fried foods, that my cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. decreased. My cardiologist prescribed a statin without even telling me that she was going to (just called it in to my pharmacy and then they called to say my script was ready) but I refused to pick it up. My levels are decreasing so why would I want to take a statin and risk side affects and more problems? Just my take on it.
11-16-2013 11:18 AM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease?
Again, it depends on the maths - I would ask the cardiologist, given your levels, what your risk chance is - 20% or above, statins is considered an effective aid. The numbers are the reason we prescribe, or should prescribe, but it you are in the US , the guidelines are IMHO a bit ka-ka. See my above comments.
11-16-2013 02:18 PM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease?
(11-16-2013 02:18 PM)DocWils Wrote:  Again, it depends on the maths - I would ask the cardiologist, given your levels, what your risk chance is - 20% or above, statins is considered an effective aid. The numbers are the reason we prescribe, or should prescribe, but it you are in the US , the guidelines are IMHO a bit ka-ka. See my above comments.

Yea, I read your info and it is great info. they are too high but not high enough that I would take a statin, especially since I am getting them down with what I am doing. If they weren't improving and they were way high like 250 or 300 or more, that would be a different story.
11-16-2013 06:24 PM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease?
I should say that the maths involved in working this out is something that doctors have at hand (we have calculators now that help us with it, and I for one am grateful, because it used to be a log of long hand a looking things up in tables), and is not based on just one set of numbers, so I do stress that you should only consider this in consultation with your physician and not go it alone. At least have your GP monitor your blood work and other factors while you pursue your course of action, and keep up the good work. There is a time factor to all this, and if you can't sink your levels fast enough, a short course of statins can be helpful as you work at it. Statins don't have to be forever, and I am living proof of that, having needed them for two years and then could come off of them.
11-17-2013 04:52 AM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #9
RE: Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease?
In my opinion, a little bit of a statin reduces inflamation which is the real enemy. As plaque builds up to repair arterial lining that is caused by inflamation.
Absolute targets on cholesterol are bunk. We need cholesterol or we would melt in the rain.

Statins are big money. Atorvastatin made big money for years before losing its patent. Its patent was extended by the power of big pharma's money influence. Still, the cost of generic Atorvastatin is way too expensive. And a 10mg tablet costs nearly as much as a 40mg tablet. When one statin goes generic; they "invent" another and heavily market it directly to the public via television; plus they push it on physicians.

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11-17-2013 05:03 AM
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Peter_C Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Do statins really reduce your risk of heart disease?
I am on a 17 pill med list.

Crestor 40mg (at night)
Niacin 200mg (at night)
Aspirin 325mg (at night)

Are among the many meds I take. I've been on the above 3 items for over 4yrs now. So many of the "possible side effects" I do believe I have - *BUT*, are they cause by the above, or by other meds I am on, or just because I am who I am - like I have any clue what the answer is...

When I went to both my heart DR and my PCP and stated I wanted off Crestor, both said no (I am always offered the choice of changing doctors if I do not wish to follow their instructions) - as I have already once self-bypassed, and have had at least one bad heart 'event' at some unknown time in my past.

I am changing my life and lifestyle greatly - some 70+ pounds lost so far, finally really quit smoking, for the past three years have been riding a recumbent trike 1000-2500 miles per year - I know I can't undo what has been done, but I do worry about the possible/probable bad side effects of the 17 different meds I take daily...

*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional. My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
11-17-2013 04:42 PM
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