Posted November 14, 2019: by Bill Sardi

    The nation’s corps of elite medical news reporters isn’t touching this one.  It’s a commentary entitled “Systematic Review of The Predictors of Statin Drug Adherence For the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, published in PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE (PLoS One), in January of 2019.

    Facing off seven manufacturers of statin drugs that sell billions of dollars of these cholesterol-lowering drugs, leading critics of the “statin drug parade” said this:

    • Statin cholesterol-lowering “miracle” drugs only reduce risk for major adverse health events by less than 1% (0.7%), not the widely advertise 30%.
    • Up to 75-90% of patients prescribed statin drugs stop taking them independently of their doctors because of observed side effects (far higher than previously reported).
    • “The overall magnitude of beneficial effects from stating drugs is so slight as to be clinically insignificant.”
    • “Ahealthy man with elevated cholesterol will not live any longer if he takes statins.”
    • 167 people need to be treated with a statin for 5 years to prevent a single hard cardiovascular event.
    • Only 25% of statin drug users continue to take the drug 2-years after initial prescription.
    • “For every 100 patients with elevated cholesterol levels who take statins for 5 years, a myocardial infarction will be prevented in 1 or 2 patients. Preventing a heart attack is a meaningful outcome. However, by taking statins, 1 or more patients will develop diabetes and 20% or more will experience disabling symptoms, including muscle weakness, fatigue and memory loss.”
    • The long list of side effects associated with statin drugs includes:  muscle pain, fatigue, especially with exertion and exercise, idiopathic inflammatory myositis, autoimmune myopathy, psychiatric and cognitive symptoms (depression, confusion, aggression, memory loss, severe irritability, sleep disturbances, musculoskeletal disorders and injuries [, sudden sensorineural hearing loss, and gastrointestinal distress
    • There is a second tier of morbidities that “may not be perceived by the users as a side effect, but are linked to statin treatment”: Type-2 diabetes, particularly in women, cancer, liver dysfunction and failure, cataracts, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), ALS-like conditions and other central motor disorders, e.g., Parkinson’s disease and cerebellar ataxia, lupus-like syndrome, susceptibility to herpes zoster, interstitial cystitis, polymyalgia rheumatic, kidney injury, and kidney failure.
    • These researchers “conclude that non-adherence to statin treatment for primary prevention of CVD is justified because the meager benefits are more than offset by the extensive harms.
    • Imagine, two decades ago the editor of the American Journal of Cardiology referred to statins as “underused miracle drugs which are to atherosclerosis what penicillin was to infectious disease.”

    The realities of statins are more sobering and go beyond mere disappointment to suggest scientific deception, particularly because these drugs are being posed as a remedy for a major life-threatening disease, not just piles and lumbago.

    A recent report suggests modern medicine deal with these statin drug-induced side effects with an array of antidotes, in other words, treat the treatment.

    If men only knew: statin drugs lower testosterone levels.  (Supplemental vitamin D counters this problem.). In fact, the hidden mechanism behind statin drugs may be to raise vitamin D levels.  One investigator suggests the clinical benefits of statin drugs are explained by their ability to raise vitamin D levels, not lower cholesterol.  Vitamin D and coenzyme Q10 are now on the list of antidotes to avert side effects posed by statins.

    Statin drugs as a class of drugs result in a disproportionality in the incidence of cataracts.  Overall, statins increase the relative risk for cataracts by 366%.  But some types of statins increase the risk for cataracts by 1480% and 1330%.  Statin drugs are making cataract surgeons a lot of money.

    One of the covert reasons why modern medicine may be moving towards a polypill (a combo-pill that provides a statin with other drugs and vitamins) would be to hide or reduce the potential side effects of statins.

    There are a number of drugs that inhibit a family of detoxification enzymes in the liver.  These detox enzymes dull the effect of toxic drugs.  Detox inhibition via other drugs could exacerbate potential side effects posed by statin drugs.  (Statins are liver toxins in themselves).  Given that many older adults take 5 or more prescription drugs, the danger of poly-pharmaceutical toxicity is very real.

    Some doctors are getting the message.  A recent survey shows 80% of doctors surveyed recently de-prescribed cardiovascular drugs like statins.

    Why do doctors prescribe statin drugs? Answer: because, when prescribed, statins reward doctors with a drug assessment fee from insurance carriers and because they bring patients back to the office for refills.  So combined with side effects, they result in a lot more doctoring.

    So, what does all this say about doctoring in the 21st century?

    • It is given over to commercial interests ahead of its mandate to “first do no harm.” And what does say about patients who continue to take statins?
    • Should they be called gullible, naïve, overly-loyal, victims of modern medicine? The statin drug parade continues, blessed by the FDA.

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