We know that statins have the ability to reduce total cholesterol and some studies have shown that the reduction of cholesterol combined with their positive effect on CRP may reduce the number of cardiac events: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20081110/crestor-faq-new-benefits-for-statins?page=2
Nevertheless other studies show that there is no significant effect of statins on total mortality (deaths) http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/170/12/1024
my question is whether those that design the studies for new drugs are (or should be) required under scientific norms, to look for total mortality rather than ONLY mortality from a specific cause, because in the latter case they may well hide the negative effect of a drug on other parts or functions of the body, such as the liver function for statins. Although I am using statins as the example I know, of course my question is general, about the drug testing procedures that are (or should be) used.
asked byPhilosopher (3524)
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on March 05, 2011
at 01:07 AM
Read the great cholesterol con by anthony colpo. Excellent review of all the data on statin trials. None of the trials really showed much help but it was spun quite differently. The real big thing you need to know is from the Framingham Heart Study that spanned 50 yrs. Its data was published in 99. The final data said those with the lowest cholesterol levels died the soonest and usually from cancer and those with the highest levels died later and not from cancer. When I read that in 99 I became an anti statin doc. The new trials with CETP inhibitors just came back with even more alarming results and it had to be stopped by the pharma company because people were dying left and right from CETP inhibition. It still amazes me that cardiologists still think that using CETP inhibition to lower LDL as low as possible is a good way to fight heart disease. It is a phenomenal way to die early. I will pass on that all day long.
on March 05, 2011
at 01:08 AM
Oh, I agree. They should be required to look at total mortality. After all, the goal of reducing heart disease is to reduce early mortality (we're all gonna die eventually, and that is just going to have to be OK). If we are not in fact reducing early mortality by putting patients on statins, the public deserves to know.
I don't think statin benefits have anything to do with reduction of cholesterol. In that WebMD article they assume cholesterol reduction is the reason statins help with heart disease risk. But if they have not looked at cholesterol reduction and inflammation reduction separately, they can't know that the benefit isn't from the inflammation reduction alone. In order to conduct a valid research study into the purported benefits of a substance, you MUST isolate your variables.
Also, that article is going on 3 years old.
If we didn't need cholesterol, every cell in the body wouldn't be making it--it's not a waste product, so that means it's necessary. If someone's that desperate to take a statin, that's on them. I ain't touching statins with a ten-foot pole, myself.