January 13, 2016
Hardening of Arteries Can Be Caused by Statins
This is a warning that statins may not be the miracle drug many cardiologists claim. People taking the drugs are more likely to suffer from hardening of the arteries, a leading cause of heart problems. And no, this is not the first time this has been said. See paragraph three below.
In addition, researchers found the drugs block a process that protects the heart. This can “cause, or worsen, heart failure”, according to a study. The lead author says: “I cannot find any evidence to support people taking statins.”
In the research published in Diabetes Care (in 2012), scientists examining patients with type 2 diabetes and severe atherosclerosis discovered that coronary artery calcification was decidedly greater in more frequent statin users compared to those who were less frequent users. Even more disturbing, in a subgroup of participants who initially did not take statins, advancement of coronary artery calcification (CAC) and aortic artery calcification (AAC) was decidedly greater in those who used statins frequently.
Some side effects are skeletal weakness and muscle pain. Now Professor Harumi Okuyama, whose team studied a series of more than 20 major research papers on the drugs, says they could cause heart disease.
Dr Okuyama, of Nagoya City University, Japan, said: “We have collected a wealth of information on cholesterol and statins from many published papers and find overwhelming evidence that these drugs accelerate hardening of the arteries and can cause, or worsen, heart failure. I cannot find any evidence to support people taking statins and patients who are on them should stop.”
The researchers say the hypothesis that statins protect the heart by lowering cholesterol is flawed and that high cholesterol is not necessarily linked to heart disease. They also found statins have a negative effect on vital body processes linked to heart health.
They discovered patients taking the drugs were more likely to have calcium deposits in their arteries, a phenomenon directly linked to heart attacks. This is because statins block a molecule needed for the body to produce a vital K vitamin, which prevents calcification of the arteries. Dr Okuyama and his team say many earlier industry-sponsored studies, which show the benefits of statins, are unreliable.
Researchers says that high cholesterol is not necessarily linked to heart disease. They claim this is because they were carried out before new European regulations were introduced in 2004, which insisted on all trial findings, both negative and positive, being declared.
The study states that before these new rules came into effect “unfair and unethical problems were associated with clinical trials reported by industry-supported scientists”.
Dr Okuyama’s team looked at studies before and after 2004. They found: “The epidemic of heart failure and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) that plagues the modern world may paradoxically be aggravated by the pervasive use of statin drugs. We propose that current statin treatment guidelines be critically re-evaluated.”
Dr Malcolm Kendrick, who has studied heart health and statins, said: “This study demolishes the argument that these drugs should be prescribed to anyone, as the harms clearly outweigh any previously suggested benefits.”
Dr Peter Langsjoen, a heart specialist based in Texas who is co-author of the study, said: “Statins are being used so aggressively and in such large numbers of people that the adverse effects are now becoming obvious. These drugs should never have been approved for use. The long-term effects are devastating.”