Six million people in the UK take a cholesterol-lowering statin drug. Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), issued 3 years ago, recommended prescribing more potent statin drugs at higher dosages to millions more patients.
That’s despite the fact that the side effects associated with statin drugs are ignored by the mainstream… I’m talking about an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, memory loss, muscle pain, fatigue and cataracts to mention but a few.
Force-feeding the masses
Now, a new study that investigated the medical records of 184,000 found that in one group of patients – all suffering with heart disease and who are supposedly most at risk – only 6 per cent were on the recommended kind of statin drug (the very potent kind) at the recommended dose. About 21 per cent were not taking statin drugs at all.
In a second group of patients also at risk of heart disease, only 15 per cent were on the recommended statin, with 38 per cent not taking a statin. The researchers said that this means an estimated six million people (three million for each group) need to adjust their dose or start taking statins.
Based on these findings, it is estimated that in total 680,000 people currently with heart disease are not taking statin drugs. The researchers added that this was unacceptably high and that if these patients had reported side-effects, about 90 per cent could be helped to stay on the medicines.
Needless to say, the results of this latest study published the journal BMJ Open, caused an outrage in the pro-statin camp, with Dylan Steen of the University of Cincinnati and lead researcher of the study, saying: “Given the benefits of moving to intensive statin therapy, this should be a public health priority. In most cases the issue [of side effects] is simply addressed by switching one pill for an equally safe one.”
Okay, let’s stop for a moment.
Numerous studies have firmly established the detrimental effects of too low cholesterol – which will be the result of taking a super strong statin at a very high dose. These negative effects could include muscle wasting (that cannot be reversed), depression, suicide and memory loss.
The side effects of these drugs is a fact that the pro-statin camp refuses to acknowledge and denying this borders on clinical indifference and deliberate ignorance, because according to one eminent U.S. cardiologist, 20 per cent of healthy men on statin drugs say they suffer significant side-effects.
And remember there is absolutely no scientific proof that high cholesterol is directly linked to cardiovascular disease (including heart disease).
In addition, if patients willingly choose not to take statin drugs because they don’t want to further damage their health with their side effects or because they have already suffered with some of the side effects, then it is their choice. And no doctor has the right to force them to continue taking a drug that they don’t want to.
While the researchers of this latest study claim that “clinical inertia” is the reason why doctors don’t prescribe the correct statins at the right dose, I beg to differ.
Recently, the deputy chairman of the British Medical Association, Dr Kailash Chand, came forward and said that he had stopped taking statin drugs because the side effects were too debilitating – in particular muscle weakness, muscle pain and fatigue.
And when the medical magazine Pulse interviewed GPs back in 2014, after the new statin prescription guidelines by NICE were published, more than half of those interviewed said that they wouldn’t follow the guidelines themselves or apply it to their family and friends.
So, if a respected senior member of the medical establishment as well as ordinary GPs refuse to take or prescribe these drugs, why should we?
It seems to me that the statin debate will eventually end in controversy… and it’s a controversy that won’t fall in favour of the pro-statin zealots.
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Millions of healthy Britons are set to be prescribed them, but why do many GPs say they won’t take statins? Published online dailymail.co.uk
Heart attack danger as six million given wrong dose of statins, published online thetimes.co.uk