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My MD prescribed Lipitor to reduce cholesterol. After filling the prescription, decided to start doing research.

http://www.************.org/moderndiseases/statin.html - EXCELLENT breakdown on the different studies and their failures
www.mercola.com - has several articles about the statin drugs
http://www.lipid.org/clinical/articles/1000009.php - is the Heart Protection Study
Couple of comments on the HPS, (and this is the same problem with all the studies), is how they are using statistics, and the number of people that were dropped from the study, due to side affects. The study had a six week "lead-in", and something like 30,000 people were dropped from the study, and NOT counted in the percentage of people with side affects.
There were 10,269 people on statins and 10,267 people on placebo. Out of those 20,500+ study participants, 577 on statins died from a heart attack, 701 on placebo died from a heart attack. The drug companies report and calculate that to be a 25% improvement in mortality rate. An interesting point, using their statistical method, it's only 21%. But, using that statistical method ignores the 19,500 people who didn't die from a heart attack. The real percentage improvement is actually only 1.7%. Remember, over the five year study, they only "saved" 25 people per year. Lipitor has acknowledged a 5% rate of side affects. Dr. Golomb is doing a govt funded research study on side affects, and she's already reporting much much higher rates of side affects.

There are also several BBS devoted to problems with Statin's. Google, Lipitor problems, statin problems, and be prepared for hundreds of valid links.

One of the things that statins do is remove CoQ10 from the body. This enzyme is very needed for muscle energy. There is concern that statins are going to create a huge group of people that will have congestive heart failure, and the belief that low levels of CoQ10 is causing the problem. Supplemental CoQ10 (in gel cap form) should be mandatory with statins. There's also a belief that the magic answer is lower cholesterol. There's an extremely loose correlation between cholesterol and heart attacks. Statins do an excellent job of lowering cholesterol. Total mortality is virtually identical between statin and placebo, which should be the true measure of statins effectiveness. There is also evidence that statins increase the risk of cancer. Lipitor's own ads say "It has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks." If it's not going to prevent heart attack then why the heck would we take it???

This was all started after my Md prescribed Lipitor. Research led me to the following conclusions:

Absolutely NO statins.
Low carb diet.
Lipid profile needs to be done with sub particle size LDL.
Calcium screening cat scan needs to be done.

Good luck with your research
[QUOTE=phil58]My MD prescribed Lipitor to reduce cholesterol. After filling the prescription, decided to start doing research.

[url]http://www.************.org/moderndiseases/statin.html[/url] - EXCELLENT breakdown on the different studies and their failures
[url]www.mercola.com[/url] - has several articles about the statin drugs
[url]http://www.lipid.org/clinical/articles/1000009.php[/url] - is the Heart Protection Study
Couple of comments on the HPS, (and this is the same problem with all the studies), is how they are using statistics, and the number of people that were dropped from the study, due to side affects. The study had a six week "lead-in", and something like 30,000 people were dropped from the study, and NOT counted in the percentage of people with side affects.
There were 10,269 people on statins and 10,267 people on placebo. Out of those 20,500+ study participants, 577 on statins died from a heart attack, 701 on placebo died from a heart attack. The drug companies report and calculate that to be a 25% improvement in mortality rate. An interesting point, using their statistical method, it's only 21%. But, using that statistical method ignores the 19,500 people who didn't die from a heart attack. The real percentage improvement is actually only 1.7%. Remember, over the five year study, they only "saved" 25 people per year. Lipitor has acknowledged a 5% rate of side affects. Dr. Golomb is doing a govt funded research study on side affects, and she's already reporting much much higher rates of side affects.

There are also several BBS devoted to problems with Statin's. Google, Lipitor problems, statin problems, and be prepared for hundreds of valid links.

One of the things that statins do is remove CoQ10 from the body. This enzyme is very needed for muscle energy. There is concern that statins are going to create a huge group of people that will have congestive heart failure, and the belief that low levels of CoQ10 is causing the problem. Supplemental CoQ10 (in gel cap form) should be mandatory with statins. There's also a belief that the magic answer is lower cholesterol. There's an extremely loose correlation between cholesterol and heart attacks. Statins do an excellent job of lowering cholesterol. Total mortality is virtually identical between statin and placebo, which should be the true measure of statins effectiveness. There is also evidence that statins increase the risk of cancer. Lipitor's own ads say "It has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks." If it's not going to prevent heart attack then why the heck would we take it???

This was all started after my Md prescribed Lipitor. Research led me to the following conclusions:

Absolutely NO statins.
Low carb diet.
Lipid profile needs to be done with sub particle size LDL.
Calcium screening cat scan needs to be done.

Good luck with your research[/QUOTE]

So you don't think statins do [B]ANYONE[/B] any good? Well, you are wrong my friend, but certainly entitled to your opinion. :D BTW>>>what were your #s? That would be interesting.

Oh another thing for your *research* ;)

:[url]http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/106/25/3163[/url]
Sticking with the facts,

There is an extremely low benefit rate of statins

From the Heart Protection Study
6.83% of the placebo patients died due to a cardiac event
5.62% of the statin patients died due to a cardiac event

9.18% of the placebo patients died due to any vascular event
7.70% of the statin patients died due to any vascular event.

Using the statistics as presented in the paper the statin group had a 25% reduction in the rate of vascular events. Using my calculator
6.83%-5.62%=1.2%

In addition, if you have a cardiac event, mortality rate is HIGHER on statin.

In an informal survey of physician friends and acquaintances

my MD said absolutely I have to take it
caridologist friend said not unless absolutely necessary and my numbers could be controlled by diet
surgeon friend said absolutely not, the side affect rate is way too high, and the benefits are not there
peditrician friend would not allow her own husband to take it
Aviation and GP acquaintance said not unless absolutely necessary
aviation and cardilogist acquaintance said absolutely take it
Father in Laws MD want's him off Zocor ASAP, but said he has to lose 30 lbs first.

Even within the medical community, there is not the overwhelming support for statins.

Before I started taking the prescribed Lipitor, I talked to close friend who I figured had been taking the drug. After three years, he's suffering serious muscle problems, to the point of it hurts him just to walk. Liver tests are only slightly higher then normal. Dr. Golomb is running an independent, govt funded, evaluation of statin side affects. She's finding an extremely high percentage of muscle side affects, something like 90%. In addition, 30% of patients are experiencing decreased mental abilities.

Go ahead and take it, but the data does not support the claimed benefit. I will agree statins do an excellent job lowering cholesterol, but have very little benefit on cardiac events, or even life expectency, especially considering the high percentage of serious side affects.
[QUOTE=phil58]Sticking with the facts,

There is an extremely low benefit rate of statins

From the Heart Protection Study
6.83% of the placebo patients died due to a cardiac event
5.62% of the statin patients died due to a cardiac event

9.18% of the placebo patients died due to any vascular event
7.70% of the statin patients died due to any vascular event.

Using the statistics as presented in the paper the statin group had a 25% reduction in the rate of vascular events. Using my calculator
6.83%-5.62%=1.2%
[/QUOTE]

Here's more *research* for you:

Since the ATP II report, trials using statins have been reassuring for total mortality considerations. Five large long-term cholesterol-lowering trials using statins, as well as 11 smaller trials of 2-4 years duration, were published between 1993 and 1999.206,207,416,432,434-436,483-487 In these trials, which encompass more than 17,000 statin treated persons followed for an average of 5 years, statin drugs have consistently produced reductions of 18 percent or more in serum cholesterol levels, and have been remarkably free of adverse effects. Two of the large secondary prevention trials, 4S435 and LIPID,206 demonstrated significant reductions in mortality by themselves, and several others showed clear trends in the same direction. [B]Meta-analysis of these trials shows an [COLOR=Red]overall 29 percent reduction in CHD mortality [/COLOR] (p<0.001) and an 11 percent reduction in non-CHD mortality (p=0.06). [/B] [B]All-cause mortality was reduced by 22 percent [/B] (p<0.001). [COLOR=Red]Finally, a global meta-analysis incorporating 40 trials using statins, fibrates, sequestrants (or partial ileal bypass surgery), nicotinic acid, and/or diet to lower cholesterol now shows a [B]12 percent reduction in [/B] [B]all-cause mortality [/B][/COLOR] (p<0.001) (Table II.9-1). The results in Table II.9-1 constitute a refinement of a recent meta-analysis reported by Gordon.45 Results were prepared for ATP III by panel members D. Gordon and M.A. Proschan.

Here is link to the table:

http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content-nw/full/106/25/3163/TBL22
Wow, I go back to life for a couple of hours and come back to a full fledged debate, which is what is needed. Statins are a very dangerous drug, and I'm sure some people benefit from them, but they are being handed out like candy at Halloween.

As the title of the thread states, they are using bad statistics. In the HPS they stated in the text a 25% improvement. Unfortunately that 25% is a bogus mis use of statistics. I've read, but have not seen the raw data on the other studies and they are using the same bad misleading use of statistics, so throwing bad information is misleading.

Lets make up a drug trial result

10,000 patients on new kewl life extending pill
10,000 patents on equally kewl placebo
At the end of the trial 1 on the pill died, 2 on the placebo died. According to my drug trials, using DRUG COMPANY STATISTICAL METHOD, I had a 100% improvement in mortality rate. We all know that's BS, so why do we accept that data from the drug companies on statins.

I've tried to read as much information as I could find, and I do appreciate the AHA article. There was some good information in there. I'm not accepting my own Md's advice and seriously considering looking for another one. My long time Md, who I trusted explicitly, retired and I haven't been able to find another one who practices anywhere near the way he did.

My own numbers are currently misplaced, but from memory,
Cholesterol 230
HDL 70 ish
LDL don't remember, but high
TC 200+

Why I appreciate the article, was the good information on the ratio on the other risk factors, other then cholesterol. As stated in a couple of posts, 1/2 the people with heart attacks have normal cholesterol. If cholesterol is the final answer, then cholesterol lowering medication ought to improve the risk of heart attack more then 1.5%. Statins do an excellent job reducing cholesterol, sometimes too much so. Why is Dr. Golombs side affect study being rejected so quickly, where she's showing 15% of the people taking statins are suffering cognitive issues? A small percentage of people are actually becoming violent, a huge number of people are suffering muscle damage and pains. Lipitor seems to be the worst of the bunch, but they all are causing problems. According to Dr. Golomb, patients who use statins for two or more years are at a four to fourteen fold increased risk of developing idiopathic polyneuropathy compared to controls. How about Cardiologist Peter Langsjoen study of 2o patients with normal heart function. After six months on a low dose of 20 mg Lipitor per day, two thirds of the patients had abvomalities in the heart filling stage. How about the multiple studies of CoQ10 depletion from taking statins. Without CoQ10, cell's mitochondria are inhibited from producing energy, which is where the muscle pains come from. And while I don't have a medical degree, isn't the heart kind of an important muscle. Side note, I asked my dad when he was in the hospital, why he hadn't exercised more, he said because it hurt, which is a common complaint. Some 90% of patients in Dr. Golombs study have muscle pains. How about the increased cancer risk due to statins? Several studies have shown an increased risk. In two of the studies, EXCEL and FACAPT/TexCAPS, more deaths occured in the treatment group compared to control group. ALLHAT showed mortality of the treatment group and controls after three or six years was identical. PROSPER, showed identical total mortality and total serious adverse events between treatment and placebo, and the treatment group had increased cancer. J-LIT no correlation between lowered LDL and death rate of five years. Meta-Analysis(2003) 65% of those on treatment v 45 % on controls experienced an adverse even. YADA, YADA, YADA.

Bottom line the statins have very little impact on life expectency, and/or chance of heart attack. Even Lipitor's ad states is hasn't been shown to prevent heart disease. If it doesn't affect my risk of heart disease, or my chance of dying, why take it? If 1/2 the people that have a heart attack have "normal" cholesterol, then how can we say that is "the" factor. If a large percentage of the medical community is moving away from statins, why is it still being prescribed, or even worse being suggested to be added to the water supply? Google Lipitor problems, are statins safe, etc. The results are eye opening.

Phil
MRC/BHF Heart Protection Study of cholesterol lowering with simvastatin in 20,536 high-risk individuals: a randomised placebo-controlled trial.

Heart Protection Study Collaborative Group.

BACKGROUND: Throughout the usual LDL cholesterol range in Western populations, lower blood concentrations are associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk. In such populations, therefore, reducing LDL cholesterol may reduce the development of vascular disease, largely irrespective of initial cholesterol concentrations. METHODS: 20,536 UK adults (aged 40-80 years) with coronary disease, other occlusive arterial disease, or diabetes were randomly allocated to receive 40 mg simvastatin daily (average compliance: 85%) or matching placebo (average non-study statin use: 17%). Analyses are of the first occurrence of particular events, and compare all simvastatin-allocated versus all placebo-allocated participants. These "intention-to-treat" comparisons assess the effects of about two-thirds (85% minus 17%) taking a statin during the scheduled 5-year treatment period, which yielded an average difference in LDL cholesterol of 1.0 mmol/L (about two-thirds of the effect of actual use of 40 mg simvastatin daily). Primary outcomes were mortality (for overall analyses) and fatal or non-fatal vascular events (for subcategory analyses), with subsidiary assessments of cancer and of other major morbidity. FINDINGS: All-cause mortality was significantly reduced (1328 [12.9%] deaths among 10,269 allocated simvastatin versus 1507 [14.7%] among 10,267 allocated placebo; p=0.0003), due to a highly significant 18% (SE 5) proportional reduction in the coronary death rate (587 [5.7%] vs 707 [6.9%]; p=0.0005), a marginally significant reduction in other vascular deaths (194 [1.9%] vs 230 [2.2%]; p=0.07), and a non-significant reduction in non-vascular deaths (547 [5.3%] vs 570 [5.6%]; p=0.4). There were highly significant reductions of about one-quarter in the first event rate for non-fatal myocardial infarction or coronary death (898 [8.7%] vs 1212 [11.8%]; p<0.0001), for non-fatal or fatal stroke (444 [4.3%] vs 585 [5.7%]; p<0.0001), and for coronary or non-coronary revascularisation (939 [9.1%] vs 1205 [11.7%]; p<0.0001). For the first occurrence of any of these major vascular events, there was a definite 24% (SE 3; 95% CI 19-28) reduction in the event rate (2033 [19.8%] vs 2585 [25.2%] affected individuals; p<0.0001). During the first year the reduction in major vascular events was not significant, but subsequently it was highly significant during each separate year. The proportional reduction in the event rate was similar (and significant) in each subcategory of participant studied, including: those without diagnosed coronary disease who had cerebrovascular disease, or had peripheral artery disease, or had diabetes; men and, separately, women; those aged either under or over 70 years at entry; and--most notably--even those who presented with LDL cholesterol below 3.0 mmol/L (116 mg/dL), or total cholesterol below 5.0 mmol/L (193 mg/dL). The benefits of simvastatin were additional to those of other cardioprotective treatments. The annual excess risk of myopathy with this regimen was about 0.01%. There were no significant adverse effects on cancer incidence or on hospitalisation for any other non-vascular cause. INTERPRETATION: Adding simvastatin to existing treatments safely produces substantial additional benefits for a wide range of high-risk patients, irrespective of their initial cholesterol concentrations. Allocation to 40 mg simvastatin daily reduced the rates of myocardial infarction, of stroke, and of revascularisation by about one-quarter. After making allowance for non-compliance, actual use of this regimen would probably reduce these rates by about one-third. Hence, among the many types of high-risk individual studied, 5 years of simvastatin would prevent about 70-100 people per 1000 from suffering at least one of these major vascular events (and longer treatment should produce further benefit). The size of the 5-year benefit depends chiefly on such individuals' overall risk of major vascular events, rather than on their blood lipid concentrations alone.

[COLOR=Red]And those results were obtained during 5 years...year after year into the future the gap will widen and widen and widen between the treated and untreated.[/COLOR]
[QUOTE=rahod]Take a CLOSER look: There were [B]16% LESS DEATHS [/B] in the statin group vs the non statin (152/943). That's HUGE!

Second, I assume this was over a 5 year(?) period..whatever. OK...Let's assume Clinton was in a 5 year study and it took place 6 years ago. He would have fallen into the NON Death/Non event group 5 years hence and so he wouldn't even show up at all...right? Now....look what happened to him the the 6th year (this year)...almost dropped dead and needed Quadruple bypass. What if he had been on Lipitor ALL those years? My point>>> all those [B]people in studies that fail to show any symptoms (or death) may [/B] [B]STILL BE AT RISK [/B] and thus may still benefit from statin therapy.[/QUOTE]

Please don't even try to bring Clinton into any discussion on Statins. He took them for a few years, and then didn't take them. I don't know why he stopped taking them, or if he had a valid reason. The point is, he can't be considered a data point in either camp.

HPS Study indicates a 31% reduction in deaths due to car accidents while taking statins. Was that caused by statins, or statistical variation?

I'm sorry but saving 25 deaths out of 10,000+ is not worth it with the high rate of side affects and the increased rate of heart failure.
[QUOTE=phil58]Please don't even try to bring Clinton into any discussion on Statins. He took them for a few years, and then didn't take them. I don't know why he stopped taking them, or if he had a valid reason. The point is, he can't be considered a data point in either camp.

HPS Study indicates a 31% reduction in deaths due to car accidents while taking statins. Was that caused by statins, or statistical variation?

I'm sorry but saving 25 deaths out of 10,000+ is not worth it with the high rate of side affects and the increased rate of heart failure.[/QUOTE]

I mention Clinton because he's a classic example of all those NOT CURRENTLY SHOWING SIGNS /SYMPTOMS (ie, those 10,000 others who didn't die in the study period), who are STILL AT RISK! So, you are not saving just those additional 152 (you said 25?)....you are PREVENTING many more FUTURE DEATHS! As a result, [B]when these studies show results over 25-30 YEARS, you will see a much more significant reduction with statins.[/B] Sorry, but I consider a 16% reduction in cardio related deaths a [B]BIG DEAL[/B].





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