JUPITER just gets stupider

No, I’m not referring to the planet…though this latest study on statins is definitely “out there.”

In case you don’t remember, the JUPITER trial was the controversial study that cracked open a whole new market of statin users in 2008. It claimed that the popular statin drug Crestor can reduce heart attacks and stroke even in healthy people. People without heart disease or high cholesterol.

In response to these results, the FDA expanded its eligible patient population for use as a preventative drug–an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Not to mention a transparent display of profit-mongering, too.

But it’s hardly the most infuriating part of this story.

JUPITER also exposed increased diabetes risk among patients on statin therapy. Later studies only confirmed this deadly association. And debates over expanded statin use have shown no signs of dying since.

So really, this new study is no surprise. After returning to the data, the same researchers–funded again by Crestor’s maker, AstraZeneca–admit that statins raise diabetes risk. But, they say, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Why? Because for every two heart attacks per 100 people that statin drugs prevent, they only cause one new case of diabetes.

To which I say: You’ve got to be kidding me.

We don’t need to take a step back in order to take two steps forward. Because healthy people don’t need drugs to avoid heart attacks and stroke, period. And sick people have much safer options to choose from.

Ones that won’t run the risk of making them even sicker.

“Cardiovascular benefits and diabetes risks of statin therapy in primary prevention: an analysis from the JUPITER trial,” The Lancet, Vol. 380 No. 9841 pp 565-571