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Old 01-07-2015, 08:22 PM   #101
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Here is an article that discusses a Cochrane Review on primary prevention with statins. That is people like me. No risk factors. It also discusses the use of the drugs in secondary prevention. Those that at are at higher risk for vascular events - heart attacks and strokes. Make of it what you will. This is the best evidence available from the scientists. If I had high cholesterol - I would alter my diet, exercise, stop smoking and reduce my BP if I had those risk factors - and start statins!

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/...chrane-review/
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:24 PM   #102
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Ok now I have. I'd go on them if my cholesterol were high. I have normal cholesterol, normal BMI, normal BP, don't smoke, have no significant family history of myocardial infarction and I still may go on them. There is much better evidence that they will potentially do me good than there is for any of the many vitamins and micronutrients jamming my shelves of my pharmacy.
I'd be interested in seeing the evidence you are taking about. It's indisputable that statins lower your cholesterol numbers, but I'd be more interested in seeing how that correlates to extended healthy life. That's the part that seems to be missing. I don't care what my numbers are, I care about whether it improves and extends my life. I know they (at least the one I was taking) cause me to have muscle pain and weakness. I might put up with that to avoid premature death by heart disease, but I'm not going to if they don't.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:48 PM   #103
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If you do not have pre-existing heart disease, statins are almost certainly going to help you, and have the potential to do you harm (there can be significant side effects, as others have stated). And even if you do have pre-existing heart disease, 96% of those patients given statins saw no benefit at all, according to the study cited in this article. Put another way, 83 people with pre-existing heart disease have to be treated with statins to extend one life, and 39 people have to be treated to prevent a repeat heart attack. Something to think about if you are considering going on statins.

Check out this article if you are interested - the conclusions are backed up with solid research, that is cited:

The Diet-Heart Myth: Statins Don't Save Lives in People Without Heart Disease
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:49 PM   #104
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Need help: Not sure whether to start medicine on lowering cholesterol level

I read through the official information sheet on a very common statin drug. Those sheets with all sorts of technical details about how it was tested and the statistical results. Apparently, statins do help some people with cardiovascular disease. Nowhere did I find any indication that a statin will extend the life span or improve the quality of life of anybody not diagnosed with cardiovascular disease of some sort. If I am wrong , please direct me to where that information can be found.


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Old 01-07-2015, 08:51 PM   #105
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The link I provided above does just that. Scientists are now interested in all cause mortality not in lowering cholesterol. The positive effect for those at high risk seems unequivocal.

The discussion regarding those at low risk, like myself and not the OP, gave the following results. "They reviewed the data from 14 trials involving 34 272 patients. What they found was that total mortality had a relative risk reduction of 17%, risk of heart attacks was reduced by 28%, and strokes by 22%. In low risk patients the number needed to treat in order to prevent one death per year was 1000. The review also did not show any additional adverse events in those treated vs placebo groups"

There was a 17% reduction in deaths in the low risk population. The number needed to treat (NNT) was 1000 to prevent one death. Some might consider that high but that is for a death. For a heart attack it would be about 600 to prevent one heart attack. The effect in the higher risk groups (like the OP) is much more impressive.
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:11 PM   #106
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That was actually a quite informative link. I'm not against using statins if they will help. As a diabetic I am at risk for heart disease. I was on Lipitor for a while and didn't have any significant side effects. Zocor however was very unpleasant. Now my reading lists both of them as potentially raising blood sugar levels, so there's no reason to avoid the one that doesn't cause problems.

I think I'll get my numbers checked (after two months without), then start the Lipitor back up (with Dr. consultation of course) and see what happens after a few months. I don't want to take the meds, but I want a long and healthy retirement too.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:53 AM   #107
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I re-reviewed this today and have to apologize for mis-stating the available evidence. The secondary prevention studies are in people who have had a cardiovascular event. The primary prevention studies are in people who have elevated cholesterol but who have not had a cardiovascular event (similar to the OP). There is no good evidence yet that those at low risk (normal cholesterol and no cardiovascular event) would benefit from taking statins. Any such study would have to be very large and very long. As I mentioned, this has not stopped my cardiology colleague who has normal cholesterol and no risk factors from going on a statin or me from considering the same. Sorry to misrepresent the state of current evidence.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:10 PM   #108
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I have a high level of bad cholesterol.... and have tried a number of drugs...

All give me major muscle pain... I just started a new drug and the doc told me only 3% have problems... I guess I am in that 3% since my arm and leg muscles are hurting right now with only taking a second pill 7 days after the first...

So for some, no drug seems to be good for them...
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:18 PM   #109
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I re-reviewed this today and have to apologize for mis-stating the available evidence. The secondary prevention studies are in people who have had a cardiovascular event. The primary prevention studies are in people who have elevated cholesterol but who have not had a cardiovascular event (similar to the OP). There is no good evidence yet that those at low risk (normal cholesterol and no cardiovascular event) would benefit from taking statins. Any such study would have to be very large and very long. As I mentioned, this has not stopped my cardiology colleague who has normal cholesterol and no risk factors from going on a statin or me from considering the same. Sorry to misrepresent the state of current evidence.
I really appreciate your apology for misinterpreting the article. Thank you.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:24 PM   #110
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I really appreciate your apology for misinterpreting the article. Thank you.
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