The American Heart Association (AHA) just issued its first statement on the harms of statins. And wouldn’t you know? They insist that the drugs’ benefits vastly outweigh their risks.
Honestly, did you expect anything different? Because I didn’t…
Nevertheless, I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment. Because, well… I have some questions…
Brain bleeds are not small “exceptions”
This statement perfectly sums up the absurdity:
With the exception of hemorrhagic stroke and the possible exception of newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus and some cases of autoimmune necrotizing myositis, statin adverse effects can almost always be reversed by stopping treatment.
In contrast, an MI or ischemic stroke permanently damages an individual’s heart or brain and can be fatal. Thus, in the patient population in whom statins are recommended by current guidelines, the benefit of reducing cardiovascular risk with statin therapy far outweighs any safety concerns.
Stop the clock! Because I really need to take a moment to make sure that I’ve got this thing straight…
So you’re telling me that hemorrhagic stroke — that’s a potentially fatal brain bleed that almost always leads to major cognitive and motor deficits — is an exception worth overlooking?!
Oh, and diabetes — which shortens your life span, requires expensive medication, needs constant monitoring, and leads to serious complications like vision loss, erectile dysfunction, and amputations — isn’t such a big deal, either?!
What’s that, you say? Neither is myositis? That’s just an irreversible condition that affects up to 30 percent of all statin users… And sufferers ONLY spend the rest of their lives with muscle wasting and pain — inhibiting physical activity, and raising their risk of death…
No big deal, right?!
I don’t know about you. But I have a hard time imagining any drug’s benefit outweighing these concerns. And when you consider the sheer number of people currently taking statins, their stance is even more preposterous.
So many safer options than statins
Here are a couple of other details this statement fails to mention: the liver toxicity associated with statin use, which affects about one in 100 users, for starters. And the warning issued back in 2012, suggesting that statins might play a role in memory loss and confusion.
With one in four Americans over 40 taking statins, this is an outrageous oversight. But then again, we’re talking about cardiologists here. Doctors devoted to keeping your heart in tip-top shape — even if it’s at the expense of the rest of your body.
Granted, your heart is important. But last I checked, so was your brain and your liver.
And you know what makes this even crazier? A good ten percent of patients ditch their statins due to the outrageous side effects. That’s one out of every ten users who will suffer complications serious enough to stop taking the drugs altogether.
But that doesn’t seem to be a concern to the AHA.
They’re not alone, though. Because one “expert” — a professor of clinical trials and epidemiology at Oxford University — expressed a wish that more people would take up the drugs in response to this statement.
Who is this lunatic?! Her reliance on unpublished data from trials bankrolled by the statin industry answers any questions I might have about her loyalties…
Here’s the scary truth: The public has never seen any of the raw data on statins. And the trials available aren’t exactly flush with details on adverse events, either.
If that doesn’t tell you something’s awry here, it should. Ultimately, the AHA’s statement on statins is about as worthless as their nutrition advice. Especially since preventing heart attack and stroke doesn’t have to involve assuming any risk at all.
In fact, that’s precisely why I designed my Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol — to walk you through my simple, actionable, integrative strategy for true (and safe) recommendations to improve your cardiovascular health. So before you or someone you love fills that statin prescription, I hope you’ll click here to learn more about my online learning tool first. Until next time, Dr. Fred