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Old 01-18-2008, 07:55 AM
Iggy Dalrymple's Avatar
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Default Business Week Cover Story: Canadian Researcher Questions Benefits Of Statins


Research suggests that, except among high-risk heart patients, the benefits of statins such as Lipitor are overstated

He found no benefit in people over the age of 65, no matter how much their cholesterol declines, and no benefit in women of any age. He did see a small reduction in the number of heart attacks for middle-aged men taking statins in clinical trials. But even for these men, there was no overall reduction in total deaths or illnesses requiring hospitalization�despite big reductions in "bad" cholesterol. "Most people are taking something with no chance of benefit and a risk of harm," says Wright. Based on the evidence, and the fact that Winn didn't actually have angina, Wright changed his mind about treating him with statins�and Winn, too, was persuaded. "Because there's no apparent benefit," he says, "I don't take them anymore."
What would work better? Perhaps urging people to switch to a Mediterranean diet or simply to eat more fish. In several studies, both lifestyle changes brought greater declines in heart attacks than statins, though the trials were too small to be completely persuasive. Being physically fit is also important. "The things that really work are lifestyle, exercise, diet, and weight reduction," says UCLA's Hoffman. "They still have a big NNT, but the cost is much less than drugs and they have benefits for quality of life."


Bottom line: Eat healthy and sell Pfizer.
For now we see through a glass, darkly.... 1st Corinthians 13:12
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