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    Efficacy of statins have been exaggerated,in the ASCOT trial says scientist

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    graham64
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    Efficacy of statins have been exaggerated,in the ASCOT trial says scientist

    Post by graham64 on Sat Jan 02 2016, 23:59

    Hailed as miracle drugs when they hit the market two decades ago, statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs prescribed to prevent heart attacks, are not as effective nor as safe as we have been led to believe, say Dr. David M. Diamond, a professor of psychology, molecular pharmacology and physiology at the University of South Florida, and Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, an independent health researcher and an expert in cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

    According to Diamond and Ravnskov, statins produce a dramatic reduction in cholesterol levels, but they have "failed to substantially improve cardiovascular outcomes." They further state that the many studies touting the efficacy of statins have not only neglected to account for the numerous serious adverse side effects of the drugs, but supporters of statins have used what the authors refer to as "statistical deception" to make inflated claims about their effectiveness.

    Their critique of the exaggerated claims regarding statins' ability to prevent strokes, heart attacks and heart disease-related deaths on a large scale has been published in the medical journal Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology.

    Their paper is an analysis of the data in the statin trials which led them to conclude that "statin advocates have used statistical deception to create the illusion that statins are 'wonder drugs,' when the reality is that their modest benefits are more than offset by their adverse effects."

    The paper also describes how the basis of the deception is in how authors of the statin studies present the rate of beneficial and adverse effects. The effect of the drugs on the population is called the 'absolute risk,' which has shown that statins benefit only about 1% of the population. This means that only one out of 100 people treated with a statin will have one less heart attack. Statin researchers, however, don't present the 1% effect to the public. Instead they transform the 1% effect using another statistic, called the "relative risk," which creates the appearance that statins benefit 30-50% of the population.

    The exaggeration of beneficial effects of statin treatment was illustrated in their analysis of a subset of statin studies, including the Jupiter Trial (Crestor), the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial Lipid Lowering Arm (ASCOT-LLA), and the British Heart Protection Study.

    "In the Jupiter trial, the public and healthcare workers were informed of a 54 percent reduction in heart attacks, when the actual effect in reduction of coronary events was less than 1 percentage point," said Ravnskov and Diamond, who is also a Career Research Scientist with the Medical Research Service at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida. "In the ASCOT-LLA study, which was terminated early because it was considered to have such outstanding results, there were heart attacks and deaths in 3% of the placebo (no treatment) group as compared to 1.9% in the Lipitor group. The improvement in outcome with Lipitor treatment was only 1.1 percentage point, but when this study was presented to the public, the advertisements used the inflated (relative risk) statistic, which transformed the 1.1% effect into a 36% reduction in heart attack risk.

    The inflated claims for statin effectiveness, and minimized portrayal of the adverse effects, has played a role in the health care providers and the public's enthusiasm for cholesterol-lowering drugs, say the authors.

    "The adverse effects suffered by people taking statins are more common than reported in the media and at medical conferences" explains Diamond and Ravnskov. According to the authors, "Increased rates of cancer, cataracts, diabetes, cognitive impairments and musculoskeletal disorders more than offset the modest cardiovascular benefits of statin treatment."

    The authors emphasized that low cholesterol levels related to statin use have frequently been associated with an increased risk of cancer. They also noted that most statin trials are terminated within two to five years, a period too short to see most cancers develop. Nevertheless, studies have shown a greater incidence of cancer in people who take statins, and one long-term study demonstrated a dramatic increase in the incidence of breast cancer among women who had used statins for more than 10 years.

    They emphasized that the public needs to be wary of conflicts of interest in the medical community and pharmaceutical industry when it comes to touting the benefits of statins and skewing the data in such a way as to make the drugs seem more effective at lowering cardiovascular disease and heart attack risks than they may actually be.

    Diamond and Ravnskov's paper is particularly relevant at this time as reports out of Britain have revealed that leaders in health care and research, including the editor in chief of the British Medical Journal, Fiona Godlee, and the chair of Britain's Commons Health Select Committee, Sarah Wollaston, have called for drug companies to release all of their records involving undisclosed adverse effects of statins in their clinical trials.

    "We welcome more medical journals to follow the new rules introduced by the British Medical Journal stating that 'clinical education articles will be authored by experts without financial ties to industry'," say Diamond and Ravnskov.

    The authors advocate other health beneficial strategies that are known to reduce cardiovascular risk, such as cessation of smoking, weight control, exercise and stress reduction. They also emphasized the great value of a low carbohydrate diet for normalizing all of the biomarkers of cardiovascular risk, with excellent outcomes, especially for people with type 2 diabetes.

    Diamond and Ravnskov concluded their paper with the sobering statement that "There is a great appeal to the public to take a pill that offers the promise of a longer life and to live heart attack free. The reality, however, is that statins actually produce only small beneficial effects on cardiovascular outcomes, and their adverse effects are far more substantial than is generally known."

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150220110850.htm


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    Jan1
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    Re: Efficacy of statins have been exaggerated,in the ASCOT trial says scientist

    Post by Jan1 on Sun Jan 03 2016, 11:28

    This paragraph taken from article above ...

    "There is a great appeal to the public to take a pill that offers the promise of a longer life and to live heart attack free. The reality, however, is that statins actually produce only small beneficial effects on cardiovascular outcomes, and their adverse effects are far more substantial than is generally known."

    There are times when medication is needed ... but it does seem so many are happy to pop a pill, and if unwell expect to pop a pill!
    They expect a prescription from their GP, and are so dis-appointed if they come away without one!

    A good step for many may be to concentrate more on eating whole fresh foods.
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    Re: Efficacy of statins have been exaggerated,in the ASCOT trial says scientist

    Post by chris c on Sun Jan 03 2016, 21:13

    The biggest problem is that GPs are trained to see metabolic diseases as drug deficiency. Changing my diet produced a huge effect on my lipids as well as my BG, and a substantial effect on my BP, compared to a statin. N=several thousand. Although this is now well documented by research, doctors don't get told about these studies and dismiss the results as "just anecdotes".
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    Re: Efficacy of statins have been exaggerated,in the ASCOT trial says scientist

    Post by Derek on Sun Jan 03 2016, 22:08

    [quote="chris c"]The biggest problem is that GPs are trained to see metabolic diseases as drug deficiency. Changing my diet produced a huge effect on my lipids as well as my BG, and a substantial effect on my BP, compared to a statin. N=several thousand. Although this is now well documented by research, doctors don't get told about these studies and dismiss the results as "just anecdotes".[/quote

    Hi Chris,
    I think if you were a GP you may see things differently.
    One of their major problems is patient compliance. Many patients have been led to believe there is pill fix out there. When a GP has a very limited time they are constrained as to what they can do.

    The practice I go to is excellent and encourages patients and health care professionals to work towards personal targets for their health.

    My eldest is a GP, in a very poor area, and as they used to say in Linc's.
    "Ya can tek a hoss to the water but ya can't mek it drink!"

    The vast majority would not take our lchf diet if they thought there was a drug fix or gastric band



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    chris c
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    Re: Efficacy of statins have been exaggerated,in the ASCOT trial says scientist

    Post by chris c on Sun Jan 03 2016, 22:18

    Partly true - but on the other hand there are plenty of doctors, and especially nurses, and dieticians, who will actively try to prevent their patients, especially diabetics, from improving their health by warning against the extreme dangers of not eating enough starch, and since ACCORD telling diabetics it is dangerous to reduce their A1c.

    My actual GP is a "diabetes specialist" but has never heard of researchers like Gerald Reaven or Ron Krauss, let alone Volek, Phinney, Westman, Feinman et al. One of the other GPs warned me about "cranks on the internet", when the real cranks are the people who conceal this information from the doctors under the guise of "evidence based medicine".

    Too many "medical professionals" have no idea just how much they are NOT being told.

    Sorry, am I ranting? <G>
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    graham64
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    Re: Efficacy of statins have been exaggerated,in the ASCOT trial says scientist

    Post by graham64 on Sun Jan 03 2016, 22:57

    I well remember my GP when first diagnosed he said "it's only mild diabetes" gave me a script for statins and aspirin and sent me on my way  Rolling Eyes that said he's not a bad bloke but his knowledge of diabetes is strictly limited and he opposes SMGB 

    Thank god for my DSN who takes an opposite view to testing her husband a retired GP is an insulin dependent T2 so she has first hand experience, needless to say I don't see my Doc with anything related to diabetes now


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    Not all cherubs are Angels  Wink nor all diabetics Bonkers  Rolling Eyes
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    Re: Efficacy of statins have been exaggerated,in the ASCOT trial says scientist

    Post by Derek on Mon Jan 04 2016, 18:04

    Try having a condition they have not heard of since medical school!
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    Re: Efficacy of statins have been exaggerated,in the ASCOT trial says scientist

    Post by chris c on Tue Jan 05 2016, 17:09

    That's IMO one of the problems, a GP by definition needs to know a bit about a lot of things, probably including diseases they never see In Real Life. They are often good with acute diseases but much less so with chronic conditions.

    There's a huge amount of individual and regional variation too. Bournemouth Diabetic and Endocrine Centre has an insulin using course regarded at world class and better than many of the face to face DAFNE and similar courses. One or two of the nearby towns are well below average.

    Andrew Hattersley at Peninsular Medical School, Exeter, does world class research into MODY and other genetic forms of diabetes, but Cornwall just across the water was piss-poor, until the local endocrinologist retired (or died) since when it has become quite good.

    There are big differences even between the different PCTs in Suffolk. It'll be interesting to see if their replacement by CCGs makes any change. I've heard of a couple of low carbing doctors in Suffolk and Norfolk already.

      Current date/time is Wed Nov 22 2017, 09:09