Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Statins - the Mainstream Media wakes up

BBC radio 4 news this morning is reporting a story featured in the Telegraph - throwing doubt on the efficacy of statin drugs.  The BBC is stating that there is little evidence that statins do anything for people who do not alread have heart problems.

Well welcome to the party guys!  The bloggers have been saying this for years and years and years.

Check out Dr Briffa for example:  Do statins save lives in essentially healthy people? (No)

or Dr Stephan Guyenet or many others - such as Peter.   I even featured somethin on this way back.


Asclepius said...

Not the only issue where the mainstream are late to the party:


Asclepius said...

Once more with feeling!

Sun cream 'caused vitamin problem'

Scott Pierce said...

I like the fact that the truth is leaching out but that article was written shockingly bad. Hard to believe it was published in a major publication.

Billy Oblivion said...

You have to be careful about reading articles that site reviews that look at studies, all of which are of at best uncertain quality.

There seems to be some controversy among people who've looked at the data and the conclusions and they think maybe the review authors don't exactly have it right:


and from a different angle:

If you are someone who reads this blog, it is likely you are also someone who is in the 2-3 standard deviations out of the norm for diet and exercise.

Unless you have bad genes you (the people who read this blog) are probably safe, you (we) don't eat soyburgers on wonderbread with mayo. We might still eat the occasional hamburger, even at McDonald's, but then we pay for it later. We may not think "we" get enough exercise, but we're getting 4-5 times the norm.

No, statins probably won't help (most of) "us", but they probably WILL help a significant number of folks hanging right in the middle of the curves.

The number in the review (near as I can tell) is about 1 life per 1000 people per year. This is, over 30 or 40 years, a lot of extra life.

My father died of a massive heart attack or stroke at 65. He was almost certainly in that group that statins would have helped. He didn't eat "right", his exercise was mostly running off at the mouth and jumping to conclusions, his BMI was about 38, and he smoked a pack a day.

A couple more birthday phone calls, a christmas or two more, seeing his other son walk down the aisle with his wife. That would have been nice.

And yes, exercise would have been his best bet, followed by stopping smoking and better diet. But "we" have been trying to get people to do that for what, 40 years now?

No, I suspect that statins--for many people--will increase both quality and quantity of life.

As for the side-effects, the number I see suggests that it's also "fairly small", and that like any medication you should work with your doctor to make sure you're taking the right stuff.

Asclepius said...

A story stating that statins are no good? Hmm must be time for a counter-news story to be released:


No wonder people are confused.