Category Archives: Medications

Dissecting an ABSURD Argument, Part 2

Let’s say that another way for clarity!

WOMEN DO NOT BENEFIT FROM STATIN DRUGS EVER!

PEOPLE OVER 65 YEARS OF AGE DO NOT BENEFIT FROM STATIN DRUGS!

Who spun the message, to make it say the opposite? You’re guess is as good as mine, but I have an idea who. SO, Science Daily has apparently taken this story from materials provided by the Imperial College of London, and recycled it. It was worked by the editorial staff, but no name to the original author, why? No self respecting journalist would put their name on this. It reeks of a copy and pasted Wikipedia entry being handed in for a high school report, but worse than that, it’s the propagation of a LIE; A lie not for the benefit of a sick public, but to improve the pharmaceutical company’s bottom line.

You may be thinking, what about men, can they be helped by statin drugs? Yes they can be according to the data. Really! Men can be helped by a statin medication? Yes, there is a 1.5% absolute reduction in risk for men between the ages of 30 and 69. So statistically you would have to treat 67 men in that age range (with high CVD risk factors) to benefit one person. In medical lingo that’s called the NNT or number needed to treat. Dr. Nortin Nadler, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill quoted the following, “ Anything over an NNT of 50 is worse than a lottery ticket: there may be no winners.”

So, statistically the benefit is not worth the risk or expense!

Now this Dr. Francis from the National Heart and Lung Institute at the Imperial University of London is suggesting that small dose statin drug distributed at a fast food joint next to the ketchup packs (seriously!) will lower your cardiovascular risk by approximately the same amount that the meal would increase it. Is that just one cheeseburger and milkshake or is it one every day? He asserts that it doesn’t really matter, if you rarely eat or regularly eat inappropriately, taking a dose with each inappropriate meal would counteract its ill effects.

“It’s ironic that people are free to take as many unhealthy condiments in fast food outlets as they like, but statins, which are beneficial to heart health, have to be prescribed,” Dr Francis said.

Again, Dr. Francis is apparently not digesting the medical literature that outright says that statins do not lower cardiovascular risk. However, he would gladly distribute a DRUG at a fast food restaurant next to the condiments. I see more than a few ways that could be abused and misused to a serious threat to public health.

Theoretical arguments spur thought. Take for example, who would win a fight between Batman and Superman. Multiple thought processes can reason through this idea. In the same way Dr. Francis is taking the two assertions, fast food causes heart disease and statins reduce risk of heart disease, and pitting them against one another.

Here’s my advice. Statin Drugs will protect you against fast food induced cardiovascular risk as well as Superman will protect you against an attack by Lex Luthor. Both arguments sap your intellectual activity and serve no practical purpose. These arguments are imagined and excessively theoretical, and therefore a distraction from more practical matters. Moreover, the benefits of statin drugs are IMAGINED just like a fight between Batman and Superman. Leave it to lousy journalists to package whatever nonsense they can find so they can fill up newspaper or broadcast space and sell it to us as validated scientific fact.

Dissecting an ABSURD Argument, Part 1

A colleague of mine recently posted a link to this article on Facebook and while reading it I couldn’t help but hold my nose.

Here’s a short excerpt and the link.

“Statins reduce the amount of unhealthy “LDL” cholesterol in the blood. A wealth of trial data has proven them to be highly effective at lowering a person’s heart attack risk In a paper published in the American Journal of Cardiology, Dr Darrel Francis and colleagues calculate that the reduction in cardiovascular risk offered by a statin is enough to offset the increase in heart attack risk from eating a cheeseburger and a milkshake. Dr Francis, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, who is the senior author of the study, said: “Statins don’t cut out all of the unhealthy effects of burgers and fries. It’s better to avoid fatty food altogether. But we’ve worked out that in terms of your likelihood of having a heart attack, taking a statin can reduce your risk to more or less the same degree as a fast food meal increases it.”   http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100812083608.htm

I would agree that statins do indeed lower LDL cholesterol in the blood. However, I would like to see this WEALTH of trial data proving to lower a person’s heart attack risk. I suspect, though NO citations are given for this wealth of data, they are referring to the number of studies created by the US National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). This government backed agency was created and funded by guess who…..wait for it…the same drug companies that profit from the sale of those same statin drugs. But wait, did anyone actually read the studies that were performed by the NCEP. Definitely not this journalist (or in this case the editorial staff)! If you actually look at those numerous studies it says, THERE IS NO BENEFIT TO TAKING STATIN MEDICATIONS.

Dr. James Wright and Dr. John Abramson did read each of those NCEP studies and released this statement in the January 2007 edition of the Lancet, “in support of statin therapy for the primary prevention of this disease (heart disease) in women and people aged over 65 years, the 2001 US National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines cite seven and nine randomized trials respectively. Yet not one of the studies provides such evidence.” (Emphasis added is mine!). So what Dr. Wright and Abramson are telling us is the studies that the US government and the drug companies used to tell us to take statin medications actually tell us they are INEFFECTIVE at preventing adverse heart events in ANYBODY OVER 65 or ANY WOMAN PERIOD.