New study data indicates that patients with existing CAD may be resistant to statins, more reasons to keep cholesterol in check before CAD develops.
This was a small study with 647 participants, larger studies will be needed.
Twenty percent of people with coronary artery disease experience little or no reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from statin treatment, according to research published online Feb. 26 in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. The finding has important implications for statin guidelines, lead researcher Stephen Nicholls, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., deputy director of the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute in Adelaide, told HealthDay. "Cholesterol levels should continue to be monitored to ensure we are moving in the right direction," he said. "It is simply not good enough to prescribe [a statin> and move on." The analysis also underscores the need for new medications to target plaque build-up in statin nonresponders.
"We found that statin use was associated with a reduced risk of liver cancer, overall," McGlynn told Healio.com/Hepatology. "This finding may have particular significance for individuals at increased risk of liver cancer due to the presence of chronic liver disease or diabetes, as our study found that statins were associated with reduced risk in the presence of these risk factors." — by Melinda Stevens
I've been waiting for this to be published, but here it is. The FDA is being petitioned to drop all statin warnings related to cognitive function of memory issues. As it turns out, the study that prompted the FDA to include the warning was flawed and the findings were wrong. The latest data shows no relationship at all;
Although the decision by the FDA to give such warnings was based on a range of surveillance and case reports, observational studies, and randomized trials, later findings have cast doubt on its validity. So Brian Ott, M.D., of The Alzheimer's Disease & Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, and his team looked at 25 randomized clinical trials including 46,836 patients. In addition, they carried out a meta-analysis, statistically combining the results of 14 of the studies.
This showed "no significant effect of statin use on the mental capacity of either people with normal brain functioning or those with Alzheimers' disease." In light of this result, the researchers call for the statin warning to be reconsidered.
"We hope that as a result fewer people will be taken off their statin drugs unnecessarily and that a physician, when faced with a patient who is concerned about being confused when they're on a statin should think about whether there might be some other explanation," he said.
"The authors' laudably cautious interpretation of their findings confirms that existing randomized controlled trial evidence does not support the FDA warning about potential adverse effects of statins on cognition. This is an important, timely, and clinically meaningful finding: Clinicians, patients, and their caregivers can take comfort in knowing that there does not appear to be a causal relationship between statin use and cognitive impairment."
Very interesting results from the recent Cholesterol Counts poll;
Nearly a third report having high bad cholesterol: 29 percent of Americans surveyed have been told by a doctor or healthcare professional that they have high LDL-C (bad cholesterol).
Gaps in knowledge exist: 44 percent of those surveyed reported they are not sure if LDL cholesterol is referred to as "bad" cholesterol.
Also, while more Americans surveyed ages 55 and older report being personally concerned (52 percent, n=418) about cholesterol compared to those ages 35-54 (37 percent, n=253), the percent of those surveyed who are not sure of or do not recall their LDL-C (bad cholesterol) levels are fairly similar for both age groups (79 and 77 percent, n=633 and n=524, respectively).
Some people are not being treated: About a quarter — 27 percent (n=156) — of those surveyed who reported being told they have high LDL-C (bad cholesterol) say they have not taken a prescription medication to manage it.
At the state level, approximately 200 adults (18+) in each of the 50 states were surveyed:
Four states tied for the highest percentage of people surveyed (37 percent) who reported being told by a healthcare provider that they have high LDL-C (bad cholesterol) — New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Massachusetts had the lowest percentage of people surveyed (21 percent) who reported being told they have high LDL-C (bad cholesterol).
This study reinforces the message statins are good news and, even just taking age as a risk factor, you should consider taking one. I would start to consider taking them around 50 because that's when an individual's risk starts to increase.
I am of the feeling I would like to take out every insurance policy to reduce the chances of the most likely reasons to die, that is heart attack or stroke. There is a lot of evidence to suggest statins are very safe.
When it comes to cardiovascular health, following a healthy lifestyle is always important. That's true even if you take cholesterol-lowering statins. Experts stress that statins, exercise and a heart-healthy diet are great partners in your efforts to improve and maintain heart health.
I got a real good laugh reading an article tonight about "the downfall of statins", all based on a statement by a Dr. Rory Collins. This is a great example of how a scandal is created in the void of any actual scandal.
In this article, they refer to an email press release by Dr. Collins and they do what the anti-statin folks do so well, cherry pick a single statement, take it out of context and use it to create a grand scandal, I laughed myself silly over this one.
The comment cherry picked was;
The Sunday Express in the UK published a headline story stating that Oxford professor Dr. Rory Collins, whose research had been used to support putting millions of patients on statin drugs, was reassessing the data behind those studies for possible drug side effects they might have missed previously.
This was the only reference to what Rory (I call him Rory) had to say and it makes a great headline and the anti-statin folks love headlines. Here is the basis of his statement;
'In light of the concerns that have been raised about possible adverse effects of statin therapy', the researchers are 'seeking individual patient data on all of the other adverse outcomes that were recorded in the trials.'
This is in reference to HIS studies and not all studies on statins. He feels HIS work needs to look further for other side effects. Here is the outline of his comments, none of which were used by the hilarious article by Globalresearch;
The scientist has previously carried out studies showing that prescribing the drugs more widely could save 2,000 lives a year in Britain and prevent 10,000 heart attacks and strokes.
His research helped shape NHS guidelines issued last year recommending that GPs offer them to around 40 per cent of all adults. He still believes the benefits of statins outweigh the risks — and warned of 'averse public health consequences' if patients stop taking them.
But Professor Collins has acknowledged that his earlier studieslooking at the benefits of statins did not properly investigate all the side effects.
These only looked at the possible risk of dying, suffering a heart attack or developing cancer. Other known side effects include muscular pain, type 2 diabetes, nausea and memory loss.
There is also concern statins increase obesity and inactivity as patients see them as a 'licence' to lead unhealthy lifestyles.
Collins said he was in favour of debate, but that it was vital people had the facts. "I think it is perfectly reasonable that people decide not to take a statin or a doctor decides not to recommend it, but I think people should be able to make an informed choice," he said.
"I'm concerned that the public as a whole and doctors as a whole are being misinformed. The impact is likely to be greatest in the people in greatest need.
This has the potential to cause very large numbers of unnecessary deaths from heart attacks and strokes, and the people who put their names to that letter should be ashamed of themselves.
In no way is Rory walking anything back. Again, what Rory is trying to do is make sure that all involved, Doctors and patients, have accurate information to make a decision and believes that the anti-statin folks are misleading the public by doing exactly what this article did, create a scandal where there is none. Wouldn't I be nice the anti-statin crowd actually presented things honestly and stop taking things out of context to make their point? And besides, isn't what Rory's doing exactly what the anti-statin folks want done?View Thread
The initial concern arose from a number of self-reported complaints to the FDA, says cardiologist Dr. Christopher Cannon, a Harvard Medical School professor. "However, many of the reports were from people who took the drug for just one day," he says, which suggests that the statin wasn't to blame. More reliable data come from large studies—one of which included more than 20,000 people—that revealed no effect on thinking and memory caused by statins.
MYTH 2 You need regular blood tests to check your liver and kidney function.
Because statins target liver cells, early statin users were advised to get routine blood tests to check their liver enzyme levels, since rising levels warn of possible liver damage. Other tests measured creatine kinase (CK), a byproduct of muscle breakdown that can signal the early stages of rhabdomyolysis. This condition, which occurs in about one in 10,000 statin users, can lead to kidney failure and even death.
But neither of these routine tests proved to accurately predict these serious but very rare problems. In 2012, the FDA changed the recommendations to a single test of liver enzymes and CK when a person starts taking a statin, switches to a new one, or develops symptoms of liver or muscle injury. Symptoms of liver injury include unusual fatigue, loss of appetite, upper abdominal discomfort, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes.
MYTH 3 Taking CoQ10 prevents muscle aches caused by statins.
Taking a statin lowers CoQ10 levels, and scientists have wondered if raising blood levels of CoQ10 might help treat statin-related muscle aches. But so far, the results have been mixed, with no solid evidence to support that idea.
MYTH 4 You can't eat grapefruit if you take a statin.
Grapefruit does contain compounds that alter how your body processes statins. The compounds, called furanocoumarins, block an enzyme in the intestine that normally breaks down statins (and many other drugs). As a result, more statin gets into the bloodstream, making it more powerful. Not all statins are affected equally, so grapefruit fans might want to switch to a statin that's less affected.