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    High cholesterol 'does not cause heart disease' new research finds, so treating with statins a 'waste of time'

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    graham64
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    High cholesterol 'does not cause heart disease' new research finds, so treating with statins a 'waste of time'

    Post by graham64 on Mon Jun 13 2016, 21:56

    Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time, an international group of experts has claimed.

    A review of research involving nearly 70,000 people found there was no link between what has traditionally been considered “bad” cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease.

    Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new study found that 92 percent of people with a high cholesterol level lived longer.

    The authors have called for a re-evaluation of the guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries, because “the benefits from statin treatment have been exaggerated”.

    The results have prompted immediate scepticism from other academics, however, who questioned the paper’s balance.

    High cholesterol is commonly caused by an unhealthy diet, and eating high levels of saturated fat in particular, as well as smoking.

    It is carried in the blood attached to proteins called lipoproteins and has been traditionally linked to cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease and aortic disease.

    Co-author of the study Dr Malcolm Kendrick, an intermediate care GP, acknowledged the findings would cause controversy but defended them as “robust” and “thoroughly reviewed”.

    “What we found in our detailed systematic review was that older people with high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels, the so-called “bad” cholesterol, lived longer and had less heart disease.”

    Vascular and endovascular surgery expert Professor Sherif Sultan from the University of Ireland, who also worked on the study, said cholesterol is one of the “most vital” molecules in the body and prevents infection, cancer, muscle pain and other conditions in elderly people.

    “Lowering cholesterol with medications for primary cardiovascular prevention in those aged over 60 is a total waste of time and resources, whereas altering your lifestyle is the single most important way to achieve a good quality of life,” he said.

    Lead author Dr Uffe Ravnskov, a former associate professor of renal medicine at Lund University in Sweden, said there was “no reason” to lower high-LDL-cholesterol.

    But Professor Colin Baigent, an epidemiologist at Oxford University, said the new study had “serious weaknesses and, as a consequence, has reached completely the wrong conclusion”.

    Another sceptic, consultant cardiologist Dr Tim Chico, said he would be more convinced by randomised study where some patients have their cholesterol lowered using a drug, such as a stain, while others receive a placebo.

    He said: “There have been several studies that tested whether higher cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol in elderly patients and observing whether this reduces their risk of heart disease.

    “These have shown that lowering cholesterol using a drug does reduce the risk of heart disease in the elderly, and I find this more compelling than the data in the current study.”

    The British Heart Foundation also questioned the new research, pointing out that the link between high LDL cholesterol levels and death in the elderly is harder to detect because, as people get older, more factors determine overall health.

    “There is nothing in the current paper to support the author’s suggestions that the studies they reviewed cast doubt on the idea that LDL Cholesterol is a major cause of heart disease or that guidelines on LDL reduction in the elderly need re-valuating,” a spokesman said.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/06/12/high-cholesterol-does-not-cause-heart-disease-new-research-finds/

    BMJ paper here: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010401.full


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    chris c
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    Re: High cholesterol 'does not cause heart disease' new research finds, so treating with statins a 'waste of time'

    Post by chris c on Tue Jun 14 2016, 22:54

    Nice! I'll read it later, the pdf is downloadable. I've been following Kendrick's blog and currently re-reading much of cardiologist William Davis' blog at http://www.cureality.com/blog/

    He used to have an open access blog called heartscan and a members only blog called track your plaque - his gig was to use a coronary calcium scan and reduce it with diet and supplements, and minimal medication only when required, and changed his approach whenever he found something that worked better. He was less cynical than Kendrick & Co. about statins but equally scathing of Conventional Wisdom and low fat diets. And especially wheat, he later wrote Wheat Belly.

    I'm currently up to about nine years ago, should be interesting to see how he updates himself and how much of his work, which is pragmatic, crosses over with the likes of Kendrick and Malhotra.

      Current date/time is Mon Sep 25 2017, 23:28