Sacramento radio, at least on one sports station, is finally alerting average listeners to the latest medical studies on statins as related to the risks and benefit. The studies are pointing to statins raising more risk of harm than benefits of health for average cardiovascular disease and stroke risk folks. Also check out my other Examiner article, "Are too many doctors paid to advocate statin use?"
It's looking more like statins aren't reducing that many heart attacks and strokes after all, according to the latest studies on statins. Basically, it's one of the radio talk show personalities that yesterday (and repeated this morning) has let the public know more about the latest studies on statins and where to read one study. Also read the June 29, 2010 Los Angeles Times article by Melissa Healy about this latest study, Rift Over Statins.
You also can read the study from its primary source, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Read the study yourself, "Statins and All-Cause Mortality in High-Risk Primary Prevention: A Meta-analysis of 11 Randomized Controlled Trials Involving 65,229 Participants." Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010; 170(12):1024-1031. You also might want to take a look at the article, "Drug Company Pleads Guilty to Health Fraud," Life Extension magazine, March 2010.
The media is now disseminating this dispute between medical studies and the claims of the big prescription drug industries. The consumers' questions keep asking whether most doctors are controlled by big pharma's claims? And what happens to dissenting doctors that don't want to prescribe? Do they get intimidated by insurance companies who may want them to prescribe in order to get insurance?
Also a British study of more than 2 million patients found that those using statins were significantly more likely to suffer cataracts.The five-year study found that for every 10,000 patients on statins, up to 307 more had cataracts than non-statin users. Read the article about the study, "Heart drugs may increase cataract, kidney failure risk," published May 22, 2010 in The Age.
Patients and consumers in general wonder whether doctors who don't prescribe drugs, but use nutrition and certain supplements instead, usually make patients pay out of pocket because the doctors can't get insurance based on nutritional solutions or treatments using food-based products such as vitamins or minerals?
These are questions patients have about the decision to go with statins. Patients have to decide as a first line of treatment whether to go with food as medicine without being called a quack follower--unless of course, you work with licensed dietitians with R.D. certification or nutritionists and naturopaths with M.D. or D.O. degrees who really know their food biochemistry.
Basically, disputes almost always are about following the big money. And when it comes down to statins or any other drug, the lawyers are waiting in the wings for symptoms to show up. So what's the latest statins dispute about? The answer is the reputation of drugs. How are the various media handling news of the statins studies?
The dispute in the latest news concerns statins, the cholesterol-lowering prescription drugs that earn about $26 billion a year for their makers. Basically, news articles and medical studies in scientific journals are pummeling the reputation of the widely prescribed medications in one area even as it advanced their stature in another.
A meta-analysis — a review of previous studies — published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that statins do not lower death rates among patients with risk factors but no evidence of established cardiovascular disease who take them as a preventive measure, according to the Los Angeles Times article.