I realize that yesterday’s rant about the worthlessness of statins may be a hard sell for some people. After all, how can an entire industry be so wrong?
Well, believe it. Because statins are taking a beating, and not just from me this time.
This shakedown took longer than it should have. But conventional wisdom is finally circling around to the fact that prescribing statins is a worthless approach to heart disease prevention for low-risk patients.
All cost, no benefit
The researchers behind this latest about face set out to see whether changes to European heart disease prevention guidelines over the last 30 years had any impact on the health of older Irish people.
A good 30 percent of subjects over 50 took statin drugs—two-thirds of whom were prescribed the medication for heart disease prevention. (Specifically, three-quarters of the women, and over half of the men.)
So, anyone who looked at these statistics would assume that these statin drugs must be doing something. Well… they’d be wrong.
If we were still following the 1994 guideline recommendations, 40 people would have to take statins to prevent one cardiovascular event, like a heart attack or stroke. A very reasonable “return on investment,” statistically speaking.
But when you apply the 2016 guidelines, that number jumps to 400 people—just to prevent one single cardiovascular event. Needless to say, that’s a lot less bang for your buck (though it suits Big Pharma’s bottom line just fine).
Here’s what that means in practice: A 65-year-old smoker who doesn’t have heart disease—but who has high blood pressure and cholesterol levels—has a 38 percent risk of a major cardiovascular event over the course of a decade. If he took a statin, that risk would drop by nine percent.
Which is all well and good, until you consider the fact that losing weight and exercising regularly delivers a greater risk reduction—without muscle pain, bone loss, or any of the other common complications of statin treatment.
There’s a better way
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Statin drugs have little value and huge potential to cause harm. And it’s about time someone else is talking about it.
In fact, these authors concluded, and I quote: “our analysis suggested that none of those classified as low or moderate risk in primary prevention would reach the levels of risk reduction that patients say would justify taking a daily preventive medicine.”
And here’s why: If you look at the data on these drugs’ side effects, you’ll also find that for every 10,000 people who take statins for five years, you can expect:
- 530 cases of myopathy
- Up to 100 cases of diabetes
- As many as 10 hemorrhagic strokes
I don’t know about you, but I know I would never take those odds.
But despite this—and most likely thanks to the “benevolent” studies that Big Pharma has forced down our throats—clinical guidelines on statin use have only expanded. And more people than ever are now eligible for prescriptions.
In fact, based on data from this Irish cohort, researchers found that only eight percent of their subjects would have been eligible for statin treatment back in 1987. By 2016, more than 60 percent qualified for a script.
Doesn’t that make you laugh? Or maybe more appropriately, cry?
So, the next time someone tries to tell you that you need a statin drug, I encourage you to show them this report. And to check out my Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol—a comprehensive learning tool for protecting your heart without drugs.
This unique program walks you through dozens of natural, science-backed strategies for preventing—and reversing—heart disease. (Even if you’re not on statins, this course can help you to maintain optimal cardiovascular health, too.)
You can learn more about it, or enroll today, by clicking here.
“’Low Value’ Care? More Controversy for Statins in Primary Prevention.” Medscape Medical News, 10/30/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/920603)