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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-21-2006, 11:01 PM   #21
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Originally Posted by Khan
My BP has dropped much since retirement.
Mine too. 145/90 to 120/70...
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-21-2006, 11:25 PM   #22
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

So, for those who believe that LDL levels are a scam, what exactly do you think those arterial plaques are made from?

Obviously, LDL doesn't tell the whole story. In fact, you can live quite happily with plaques. It's just that you get hosed when one of the little buggers breaks off....
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-21-2006, 11:32 PM   #23
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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So, for those who believe that LDL levels are a scam, what exactly do you think those arterial plaques are made from?

Obviously, LDL doesn't tell the whole story. In fact, you can live quite happily with plaques. It's just that you get hosed when one of the little buggers breaks off....
What puts the LDL plaque there in the first place? Not high vs low levels. I don't know that anyone here is arguing that specifically. Cholesterol LEVELS. That is the big scam. Low choesterol people have that same plaque. And simply lowering the ldl levels will not protect against one of them things breaking off.

And how are you lowering your risk by taking statins to lower cholesterol? Since taking stains has never prevented a heart attack or heart disease in otherwise healthy people you are only increasing your risk. Death my medication.

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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-21-2006, 11:41 PM   #24
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Originally Posted by razztazz
And how are you lowering your risk by taking statins to lower cholesterol?
I believe MRI studies have shown that statins effectively reduce vessel wall thickness and slow or reverse plaque formation. What more do you want from them? Nobody can guarantee that you won't still die from a heart attack even after improving your risk factors.
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-21-2006, 11:58 PM   #25
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

I take low dose Lipitor and it takes me down from 200+ to 165 or so...even if there is only a 1 in 10 chance it will prevent a heart attack that seems like a good idea to me, even though there is no such history in the family.

Also take BP meds but since leaving work I feel far less stressed and suspect my 8AM-5PM numbers are significantly better. How do you put a dollar value on that?
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 12:04 AM   #26
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

The decision usually works out in favor of taking atorvastatin ("Llipitor")10mg (to start) if your annual risk of a heart attack or sudden death is greater than about 10% over the following 10 years. This usually means you have a cholesterol elevation plus or minus additional risks such as smoking, diabetes (a bad risk), hypertension, and are over 50 or 55.

Taking atorvastatin does have a risk of about 0.5% for muscle inflammation. The severe cases have been even rarer but they do occur. That is factored in to the recommendation. The medication is expensive, perhaps $800 per year in lower doses; lovastatin and others are cheaper but don't beneift HDL cholesterol as much as atorvastatin.

If you take the medication under the right circumstances and appropriate liver and muscle vigilance, your risk of heart attack or sudden death will be reduced by about 30-40% relative, or 3-4% absolute over 10 years. This is a relatively small number but quite cumulative, worsening as you age. Stroke risk drops about 20% but is much lower with and without medication. These numbers eclipse past results (before statins) by huge amounts.

The available studies are valid, credible, and reproduced consistently. I am a notorious big pharmaceutical cynic. They have and will do things that in my view are atrocious, unethical and obscenely greedy. I am taking atorvastatin 10mg because my doctor and I felt the benefits outweighed the risks. Like 99% of users, I have no side effects.

I suggest making your decision based on the evidence and your personal issues. If you choose not to bet while holding a straight flush, be my guest. True, you won't always win with that hand, but as for me, I'd make that bet any time.
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 12:23 AM   #27
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
The decision usually works out in favor of taking atorvastatin ("Llipitor")10mg (to start) if your annual risk of a heart attack or sudden death is greater than about 10% over the following 10 years. This usually means you have a cholesterol elevation plus or minus additional risks such as smoking, diabetes (a bad risk), hypertension, and are over 50 or 55.

Taking atorvastatin does have a risk of about 0.5% for muscle inflammation. The severe cases have been even rarer but they do occur. That is factored in to the recommendation. The medication is expensive, perhaps $800 per year in lower doses; lovastatin and others are cheaper but don't beneift HDL cholesterol as much as atorvastatin.

If you take the medication under the right circumstances and appropriate liver and muscle vigilance, your risk of heart attack or sudden death will be reduced by about 30-40% relative, or 3-4% absolute over 10 years. This is a relatively small number but quite cumulative, worsening as you age. Stroke risk drops about 20% but is much lower with and without medication. These numbers eclipse past results (before statins) by huge amounts.

The available studies are valid, credible, and reproduced consistently. I am a notorious big pharmaceutical cynic. They have and will do things that in my view are atrocious, unethical and obscenely greedy. I am taking atorvastatin 10mg because my doctor and I felt the benefits outweighed the risks. Like 99% of users, I have no side effects.

I suggest making your decision based on the evidence and your personal issues. If you choose not to bet while holding a straight flush, be my guest. True, you won't always win with that hand, but as for me, I'd make that bet any time.
Thanks anyway. I'll take my chances with what the creator gave me along with moderate exercise and a sensible diet.
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 12:32 AM   #28
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Originally Posted by wab
I believe MRI studies have shown that statins effectively reduce vessel wall thickness and slow or reverse plaque formation. What more do you want from them? Nobody can guarantee that you won't still die from a heart attack even after improving your risk factors.
Personally, I don't want anything from them. Just send me the names of all the people who have died because they had "high cholesterol"- I won't hold my breath for that list since not even one name will be on it. I believe that the hype about "high cholesterol" is misinformation designed to create blood tests for clinics, office visits for doctors, and to ultimately sell drugs to a gullible populace.
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 04:56 AM   #29
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Originally Posted by Alex
Personally, I don't want anything from them. Just send me the names of all the people who have died because they had "high cholesterol"- I won't hold my breath for that list since not even one name will be on it. I believe that the hype about "high cholesterol" is misinformation designed to create blood tests for clinics, office visits for doctors, and to ultimately sell drugs to a gullible populace.
I firmly believe this to be the case. Have for some time.
I'm only following the "wab" diet to hedge my bets.

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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 05:23 AM   #30
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Originally Posted by wab
So, for those who believe that LDL levels are a scam, what exactly do you think those arterial plaques are made from?

Obviously, LDL doesn't tell the whole story. In fact, you can live quite happily with plaques. It's just that you get hosed when one of the little buggers breaks off....
Look; something is gonna kill you. Obsessing over it is worse than death
IMHO. (Sorry folks, I gotta insert it here "You can get killed walkin' your
doggie!") This is why I have a little perverse admiration for otherwise intelligent
people who still smoke. They know it might kill them, but they enjoy it.
We all contact stuff every day that might kill us, and a lot of it
is unpleasant or just a PITA. Better you should enjoy your (brief)
time than spend it trying to eliminate every possible risk.
Just my 2 cents...........Gotta go eat a couple of donuts

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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 05:44 AM   #31
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Originally Posted by newguy888
Oh man this statin thing. My cardiologist has been a real great guy, never telling me to go on a statin. I had a cardiac cath 5 years ago, had a viral infection of the pericardium and had symptoms of a heart attack, needless to say a couple of nights in ICU at the age of 45 is a scary thing. But my arteries are clear. My cholestrol runs between 189 and 229, Hdl 50 to 60 and ldl 119 to 169 my triglicerides are always below 60.

So the running 10 miles a day and the red rice yeast suppliments I take and my diet when vegatarian gives me a nice low reading on my ldl and a high reading on my hdl all without statins. by the way my family history well STINKS, But the side effects are something I want nothing to do with and yes why do over 60% of heart attack victims have low cholestrol readings??

In addition talk to people who have been on lipitor or any other statin for a few years there is something missing, they have mental lapses, forget things repeat things i have read studies about mental issues with statin drugs along with the muscle issues.

I probably should stay away from this one but can't. I can't take statins,
and won't take other cholesterol lowering drugs. I'm takin' enough
stuff already IMHO. Anyway, most people I met who took statins
(and were willing to discuss it) quit because they thought they were
having side effects. I think my brother is on them but he is more apt
to trust the medical profession than I am. Also, my folks (89 and 86)
do not take them and have no idea what their cholesterol is.
They eat anything and there is no heart disease in our family tree.
I think my chances are good.

JG
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 05:45 AM   #32
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Originally Posted by Alex
the motto of the medical proffession is "don't think, just do what your sold". I have serious doubts about cholesterol being the cause of anything other than a really nice balance sheet for the manufacturers of cholesterol lowering medications. I own the Vanguard Healthcare Fund for exactly that reason.

If they keep moving the target total cholesterol number lower and lower, eventually every man, woman and child in the world can enjoy the benefits of lower cholesterol!! whoopeee!!!!!
Alex, you rock!

JG
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 08:31 AM   #33
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
lovastatin and others are cheaper but don't beneift HDL cholesterol as much as atorvastatin.
I'm sure thats true. In my case, my numbers were just borderline high anyway. I started with Lipitor and then asked my doc if I could try Lovasatin. He basically said what you said as to the benefits of Lipitor over generics but agreed to let me try it. My numbers stayed at the same good levels as with Lipitor. My doc just smiled and said lets just stay with what is working. So I'm sure Lipitor and the newer ones are the way to go for high cholesterol patients, but for people like me, generics are a good option.

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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 09:20 AM   #34
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

My mother died of a heart attack at 39. My father had his first of many heart attacks at age 43. (He had both plumbing and electrical problems). Scary stuff. I was borderline with my cholesterol levels. Given the family risk, I take Lipitor. Just had my blood test. Total cholesterol 142, 47 HDL, 80 LDL and 74 triglycerides. Let's keep it that way. Age 51, no heart problems.

I also get a stress test every few years.

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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 09:25 AM   #35
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

Well, it's like investing; there's risk and reward. My father died at 67 from a heart attack; for me that's only 4 years from now. So, I'll take the risk of my Zetia, which unlike statins, does not affect the liver. I'll be looking for a longer life reward.
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 11:42 AM   #36
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
My mother died of a heart attack at 39. My father had his first of many heart attacks at age 43. (He had both plumbing and electrical problems). Scary stuff. I was borderline with my cholesterol levels. Given the family risk, I take Lipitor. Just had my blood test. Total cholesterol 142, 47 HDL, 80 LDL and 74 triglycerides. Let's keep it that way. Age 51, no heart problems.
Yes, that's a concerning history and I'm glad you are taking care of it preventively.
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 11:43 AM   #37
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Well, it's like investing; there's risk and reward
AS I read this thread this AM a simular thought occured to me. This talk of Lipitor, statins, high-cholosterol, HDL, LDL, big Pharma, pros and cons reminds me of the many rants that we have had of active vs. passive or which AA is the best etc.

Like investment asset allocation, it all depends on your specific wants, needs, and desires. What works for you is not necessarially what works for me and visa-versa.

As long as you make a well informed decision regarding both your long-term financial health and medical health and keep "rebalancing" annually, we should all be around a long time so that we can rant about many other topics in the future.
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 11:48 AM   #38
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Given the family risk, I take Lipitor. Just had my blood test. Total cholesterol 142, 47 HDL, 80 LDL and 74 triglycerides. Let's keep it that way. Age 51, no heart problems.
I have that same family "risk". ONLY my father had any early heart attacks. and he had several other external risk factors that I do not. So how can they say *I* have a genetic risk without digging up my old man and doing that specific DNA match? Russian Roullete. Statins ruined my health for life. My arteries have been shown to be clean. So I lost that gamble. And I paid to have my health misdignosed and maltreated, and I will be paying for the recovery forever. No questions in my my mind as to why certain people get the crap sued out of them.

F' 'em. Dont tell me about "risk" unless they can give me a number. Not something from a "study" because that proves nothing in *my* case. You need actually MEDICAL data to make a dignosis. The patient is the only data point that matters. Not some revenue enhancing drug study
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 12:37 PM   #39
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Originally Posted by cube_rat
Yeah, work is tough on the BP. I bet your BP drops after you pull the trigger.

My blood pressure started to climb because of age and, ahem, female hormone stuff and way, way too much daily wine. I haven't had alcohol for 6 months and my blood pressure is running ~100/115 over 60/80. Way down from 140/150 over 90/100.
I, too, found that cutting way back on alcohol lowered my BP. Also, cutting out caffeine helped. From 130/80 down to 118/70.

Razztazz, I'm sorry to hear that statins ruined your health. I was not aware that the drugs had any serious side effects. If you wouldn't mind telling us, I would like to know how the drug affected you.
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?
Old 10-22-2006, 01:10 PM   #40
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Re: Anyone On Lipitor?

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Originally Posted by razztazz
I have that same family "risk". ONLY my father had any early heart attacks. and he had several other external risk factors that I do not. So how can they say *I* have a genetic risk without digging up my old man and doing that specific DNA match? Russian Roullete. Statins ruined my health for life. My arteries have been shown to be clean. So I lost that gamble. And I paid to have my health misdignosed and maltreated, and I will be paying for the recovery forever. No questions in my my mind as to why certain people get the crap sued out of them.

F' 'em. Dont tell me about "risk" unless they can give me a number. Not something from a "study" because that proves nothing in *my* case. You need actually MEDICAL data to make a dignosis. The patient is the only data point that matters. Not some revenue enhancing drug study
That is the problem with balancing risks. You might be that person who is in the .5% who has the bad side effect. I am sorry it was you. But what can you do? I try to follow instructions, get my blood tested every 6 months, and read about the drugs I take and be mindful of side effects. I also take inhaled steroids for asthma. That can impair your ability to heal after surgery. My sister also takes steroids for asthma. She had surgery and it took her more than a year to heal as a result. But the benefit of the steroids simply outweigh the risks.

There are some drugs I would not be ever inclined to take. For example, I see advertised a drug to treat toenail fungus. I don't have toenail fungus, but if I did, I wouldn't take the drug. Not enough benefts to outweigh the risk. You don't die from toenail fungus. You can die from liver failure.
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