Statins in the press

I'm sure those who read the papers have seen the 'statin' information on the front page today (e.g. telegraph) and published in the Lancet.

telegraph.co.uk/health/heal...

Colin Baigent appears to be behind this. He was the person who criticised the Cochrane report that stated that statins don't appear to help in primary prevention.

theheart.org/article/117474...

I wonder if the research published today is the same as the Oxford unit published in 2010. All are 'study's of study's so new actual trials have taken place.

I think it's time to take a long look over how some organisations are funded.

Interestingly - judging by the comments on the Telegraph - most people have seen through the statin scam and are rejecting this form of blanket medication. This only serves to weaken the doctor patient trust and can't be good for GP's.

17 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Thank you Architect. I nearly choked on my low carb breakfast when I read this. I am actually reading the "The Telegraph" now before I start work. I don't want to mention honorias either. I cannot believe that a doctor is advocating dispensing powerful prescription drugs as some sort of smartie. Go away Mrs Aliwally, take these for the rest of your life, I don't want to see you again.

  • Interestingly - another study (must be publication day today) in the same Lancet hints at the fact that raised HDL isn't causal with regards to protection from CVD - in other words HDL shouldn't be called 'good' cholesterol and raised levels don't protect you.

    thelancet.com/journals/lanc...

    Again - this study just reinforces an existing theory and like all studies - shouldn't be taken on it's own merit.

  • I never was any good at maths, but how does having 11 fewer heart attacks and strokes out 1000 people equate to a 15% cut ? Isn't 11 out of 1000 equivalent to 0.1%...and that doesn't sound so good.

    Leave statins for people who really need them, those with FH and other inherited forms and people who have already had a heart attack instead of trying to medicalise all over 50's.

  • It depends quite what they're measuring. When you start compounding probabilities, there are some counter-intuitive results. It doesn't work out from the numbers I've read so far, but it might make sense if you dig deep enough.

    Anyway I'm sceptical of both the study and the reporting (it's only one study, why is it headline news on the radio this morning?) but it's of limited interest to me because it's about low-risk groups not hyperlipidaemics.

    I seem to recall that when my GP did that risk assessment for me (which it turns out is invalid because I have FH), my risk was something like 1 in 50... in other words, I wouldn't qualify if they did roll out a scheme as described in the Telegraph. They'd probably be medicating the wrong people with the wrong doses, as usual for mass medication.

  • I've looked at this is more detail and it's saying everyone with more than a 10% risk in the next ten years should be offered statins, at the moment it's 20% risk. However this would include 83% of men over 50, don't know about women.

    If they are saying statins work as well for low risk (which I don't believe) presumably they don't have high cholesterol so does that eliminate high cholesterol as a risk factor?

  • No, because studies aim to identify independent risk factors if they can. Absence of high cholesterol should not influence other risk factors, which could be regarded as sufficient on their own.

    On reflection, I feel this conclusion could arise from under-reporting and under-attribution of side-effects. Garbage in, garbage out. If the side-effects were all attributed, there would probably be a greater number of years of lower quality, so the suggested medication threshold would be set differently.

  • I the comment All are studies of studies so NO new trials have taken place - should the no be there as it makes more sense. I am like many others head spinning as to what to believe with so many mixed messages. I am on statins & I have osteo arthritus so many aches and pains just have to be born not knowing which are being caused by which.

  • I wonder if you take any medication for your OA as well as statins. I take Crestor 40mg + Ezetrol 10 mg. daily for FH & have been diagnosed with OA, possibly rheumatoid, for which my rheumatologist has suggested methotrexate. I am not keen to try this chemotherapy because of possible nasty side effects, including interfering with my immune system, but I am in constant pain, particularly in my feet, which hampers all activity. I am assured this pain is in no way connected with taking statins (I took Zocor 80 mg. for about 20 yrs.) since my CK is within normal limits. I have been told by my lipid consultant at Manchester Royal Infirmary that if my CK is normal, any aches & pains are not due to statins. Have you had your CK checked? Does anyone take statins + methotrexate & are they compatible? I am 66 & female.

  • Hi Floosie,

    I had a lot of pain and stiffness in my fingers last year and I thought I was getting arthritis but then I stopped taking atorvastatin and they got much better. I saw another GP at my practice and he told me that it was definitely side effects of atorvastatin! I agree about mixed messages. I was reading that lipid levels can be raised before the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Somewhere I have read that you can get myalgias without a rise in CK...I will post if I find it.

  • GP's already do this.given their 4 minute appointments per patient, they dole out the prescription and do not follow up with blood tests. I am a stroke victim age 53, very disilusioned with the medical proffesion and terified of controlling my own destiny.

  • Have you been in contact with your consultant at the hospital since you were released after your stroke? Surely, if you have any doubts about your health and your GP is not forthcoming that would be the route to go down. If you are feeling let down by him and by your GP find another practice or seek advice from a stroke charity. I am surprised that you have not had any follow up blood work or tests done since your stroke, and that you have not had after care. I don't think that can be down to the recent cuts in services. Maybe its a breakdown in the routine care that should be provided for you. Worth chasing up with your practice manager perhaps.

    You shouldn't be feeling all at sea like this. Do some online searching for local advice and keep in touch.

  • As an add on, I am surprised at how GP's in the same practice vary in their attitude. I am now very savvy in making my appointments even if I have to wait longer.

  • I have been advised 4 different things by 4 different doctors at the same practice regarding FH and statins! Mindboggling.

    Floozie, I have also read that aches and pains are caused despite no readings on blood tests and can definitely vouch for this as have experienced it myself.

    So have several relatives of mine and one aunt ended up in a wheelchair for six months because of statins. She is ok now after having extensive physio and stopping them. Dont know if she is taking something else as she lives in the USA.

    I am not taking my prescribed statins at the moment. Cant bring myself to take them as it feels as if I am putting poison in my body. Hope I dont regret it but the alternatives seem to be ezetimibe and from what I have read these dont work very well. Not been offered anything else, so am just watching diet and exercising. Could be playing russian roulette with my life but for the time being at least I am watching and waiting to see what else evolves with statin trials.

  • Hi Deepblue,

    I've felt like giving the whole statin thing up as well, but at the moment I'm persevering with a low dose of pravastatin despite a few dodgy symptoms returning. I followed up one of the many references from the myopathy article and it led me to a Pub Med one about statin intolerant patients having a once a week dose of rosuvastatin. This works because rosuvastatin stays in the body about 19 hours apparently. If I find it I will post it. I might keep this one up my sleeve if all else fails.

  • Hi Aliwally,

    My consultant has prescribed a 3 x week dose of rosuvastatin (5mg) which is apparently quite a small dose to see if I can tolerate it. If so, she wants to then increase it to 5mg daily. However, I have read that although this sounds a small dose this amount is equivalent to a higher dose of other statins. Trying to decide whether to try it or not but am having trouble psychologically with statins , cant get my head around the idea of them poisoning my system. Maybe its my instincts telling me not to! The weird thing is I felt like this before I even knew of the side effects. I wish I knew.

    I suppose I will end up trying them but not for the near future.

    Good luck if you decide to try them,

  • Basically for statins, as I understand it, if prava = 1 effect, then simva = 2, atova = 4, rosuva = 8.

    I think the other major distinction is that simva and atorva are fat-soluble, while prava and rosuva are water-soluble. livestrong.com/article/5461... summarises this as "The question remains whether or not fat-soluble statin drugs can affect brain function" and also whether or not any effect is beneficial!

    I know what you mean about the psychology. It's basically a fungus and it seems wrong somehow to take it except in moderation. My current tactic is to take high-dose simvastatin with a week break every six, and to watch for Bergamot studies with interest.

  • Thanks DakCB thats interesting.

You may also like...