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Posted September 8, 2015: by Bill Sardi
The claim that the health benefits derived from cholesterol-lowering statin drugs “far out-weigh” potential harms among healthy and high-risk patients continues to be echoed throughout modern medicine. [Current Pharmaceutical Design 2015; British Medical Journal July 17, 2014]
But now a warning has been issued by leading researchers that modern medicine re-think its broadened approach to the use of statin drugs among healthy patients. [Daily Mail UK Sept 6, 2015]
Only a tiny minority of subjects who take statins as a preventative medicine will live longer – studies show 0.5 per cent avoid a non-mortal heart attack or stroke by taking the drugs for five years while a significant percentage may experience serious statin drug side effects, say investigators.
Yet statin drugs users, fearful they may experience a heart attack, keep using statin drugs. Researchers say the risk of death from statin drug cessation is approximately 1 in 10,000. At best, statin drugs have no effect on mortality or at best offer a one-half of 1% reduction. Physicians are urged to advise their patients about modifiable risk factors such as diet, tobacco and alcohol use before prescribing statin drugs. [Prescriber Sept 2015 Access requires free registration]
Side effects attributed to statin drugs (muscle damage, diabetes, cataracts) are intentionally minimized. Muscle aches and pains are estimated to affect 10% of statin drug users. Researchers say most of these side effects go unreported because up to three-quarters of new statin drug users discontinue use due to side effects.
The problem with cholesterol-lowering medications is that only a few statin users will actually experience a heart attack. The risk of a heart attack at age 40 is 4 in 10,000 over a 10-year period; over age 60, 37 in 10,000. Over that time span it is more likely a person will die of another cause. [Know Your Chances] — ©2015 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health Inc.