January 31, 2017

'Experts' Speaking Out Again about Statins

I expected this promotion from “experts” after my last blog because they must be short of funds and needed to blast the public about the need for statins. The questions they raised as being an unproven link between statins and diabetes is a reach. This is because the link between statins and diabetes is on solid ground and proven.

I need to question the titles given these “experts” by the author and if they are truly world-renowned researchers. It seems a little over the top and obvious that they are doing this to refill their coffers. By claiming that there is an unproven link between statins and type 2 diabetes, they have left themselves open to others that have shown in studies a 2 to 25 percent link. The “experts” only will consider a very high dose of statins as having a potential link if even then.

Charles H. Hennekens, M.D, Dr.P.H., the first Sir Richard Doll professor and senior academic advisor to the dean, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU; Bettina Teng, BA, a recent pre-med honors graduate of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at FAU; and Marc A. Pfeffer, M.D., Ph.D., the Dzau professor of medicine at HMS, emphasize to clinicians that the risk of diabetes, even if real, pales in comparison to the benefits of statins in both the treatment and primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes.

By over emphasizing the benefits of statins, they describe something that is very difficult to prove and happens to a less than 25 percent of people taking statins.

"The totality of evidence clearly indicates that the more widespread and appropriate utilization of statins, as adjuncts, not alternatives to therapeutic lifestyle changes, will yield net benefits in the treatment and primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes, including among high, medium and low risk patients unwilling or unable to adopt therapeutic lifestyle changes," said Hennekens.

In the accompanying editorial, Joseph S. Alpert, M.D., editor-in-chief and a renowned cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Arizona School of Medicine, reinforces these important and timely clinical and public health challenges in treatment and primary prevention.

"There is no threshold for low density lipoprotein cholesterol below which there are no net benefits of statins either in the treatment or primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes," said Alpert.

The authors and editorialist express grave concerns that there will be many needless premature deaths as well as preventable heart attacks and strokes if patients who would clearly benefit from statins are not prescribed the drug, refuse to take the drug, or stop using the drug because of ill-advised adverse publicity about benefits and risks, which may include misplaced concerns about the possible but unproven small risk of diabetes.

"These public health issues are especially alarming in primary prevention, particularly among women, for whom cardiovascular disease also is the leading cause of death, and for whom there is even more under-utilization of statins than for men," said Hennekens.

If you believe these “experts,” I would urge you to read my two blogs from January 24 and January 25 and go to Dr. Malcolm Kendrick's blog. Using his search for his blogs, below the two books listed in the right column and below the follow his blog, type in the word statins and bring up a list of his blogs about statins. Be sure to read this blog about the death of Dr. Duane Graveline for some still denied serious side effects.

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