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We’ve spent a TRILLION dollars on statins to lower cholesterol, yet cardiovascular deaths have gone UP – it’s achieved nothing

By Malcolm Kendrick | RT | August 4, 2020

New research shows that the most widely prescribed type of drug in the history of medicine is a waste of money. One major study found that the more ‘bad’ cholesterol was lowered, the greater the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, almost every other medical condition has been shoved onto the sidelines. However, in the UK last year, heart attacks and strokes (CVD) killed well over 100,000 people – which is at least twice as many as have died from Covid-19.

CVD will kill just as many this year, which makes it significantly more important than Covid-19, even if no one is paying much attention to it right now. So, it is good to see that research goes on, and papers are still being published.

One of the most significant, and of great interest to me personally, was a critical examination of the benefits of lowering cholesterol. This was published on August 4. The paper was called ‘Hit or miss: the new cholesterol targets,’ and it came out in Evidence Based Medicine, one of the key titles that sits under the umbrella of British Medical Journal publishing.

It was carefully worded, as all clinical papers are, but a key section of the press release was as follows: “Setting targets for ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol levels to ward off heart disease and death in those at risk might seem intuitive, but decades of research have failed to show any consistent benefit for this approach, reveals an analysis of the available data, published online in BMJ Evidence Based Medicine.”

What is being said here is the following. Everyone thinks that lowering LDL, aka ‘bad cholesterol,’ is considered the single most important way to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes. However, “decades of research have failed to show any consistent benefit for this approach.”

Surely this flies in the face of almost all the advice we have been bombarded with for the last 50 years or so. Cholesterol – by which we really mean low density lipoprotein (LDL) – is a killer and must be lowered. This is the whole point of statins, the single most widely prescribed type of drug in the history of medicine. Drugs that have racked up sales of nearly $1 trillion since their launch.

Now, newer and far more expensive LDL-lowering medications are available, riding on the success of statins. They are injectable, rather than tablets, and the cost is far higher. In the US, you are looking at around $5,000 per year. In the UK, one of these drugs, Repatha, costs the NHS just over £4,000 ($5,200) per year. These drugs are known as PCSK9-inhibitors.

These are eye-watering costs. It is estimated that around seven million people in the UK take statins currently. If everyone converted to a PCSK9-inhibitor, this would cost the NHS £28 billion ($36.4 billion) a year – not far off the entire defense budget.

But do these drugs work, does lowering LDL work? Surely it does, surely it must. The answer is, not necessarily. Yes, statins have been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, not by a massive amount, but the effect exists. At least in some studies, if not all.

However, many other drugs also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease without having any effect on LDL levels, e.g. aspirin. A number of researchers have long argued that the benefits of statins are mainly due to “off-target” effects, by which they mean that, yes, statins lower LDL, but they also have effects on many other things and it is the “other things” that provide the benefit.

For example, statins have been found to have quite strong anti-coagulant (anti-blood-clotting) effects. Same as aspirin, as highlighted in the 2013 paper, ‘Anticoagulant effects of statins and their clinical implications.’ It states: “There is evidence indicating that statins… may produce several cholesterol-independent antithrombotic [anti-coagulant] effects.”

So, it has always remained possible that the main benefit of statins was not due to their impact on lowering LDL. It is because of something else that they do.

In this recent study, the authors decided to examine this possibility. So they gathered together all the LDL lowering trials – at least those big enough, and long enough to count – and try to establish whether the amount that the LDL was lowered matched the reduction, if any, in cardiovascular disease. The technical term for this is “dose-response.”

Or, to put this another way, if the LDL hypothesis is correct, the greater the LDL lowering, the greater the benefit on CVD should be. What did they find? Here are the key findings – from the press release:

“Their analysis showed that over three quarters of all the trials reported no positive impact on the risk of death and nearly half reported no positive impact on risk of future cardiovascular disease.

“And the amount of LDL cholesterol reduction achieved didn’t correspond to the size of the resulting benefits, with even very small changes in LDL cholesterol sometimes associated with larger reductions in risk of death or cardiovascular ‘events,’ and vice versa.

“Thirteen of the clinical trials met the LDL cholesterol reduction target, but only one reported a positive impact on risk of death…

“Considering that dozens of [randomized controlled trials] of LDL-cholesterol reduction have failed to demonstrate a consistent benefit, we should question the validity of this theory.”

And they conclude:

“In most fields of science the existence of contradictory evidence usually leads to a paradigm shift or modification of the theory in question, but in this case the contradictory evidence has been largely ignored, simply because it doesn’t fit the prevailing paradigm.”

In short, what they found was that there was absolutely no correlation between the amount that LDL was lowered and the resulting benefit on CVD. In fact, the benefit was inverse i.e. the less the LDL was lowered, the greater the benefit.

This is a hugely important finding that really ought to be shouted from the rooftops. I admit I have a horse in the race, having long argued that LDL has nothing to do with heart disease (and being roundly condemned for doing so). So, it is nice to have my thoughts so powerfully supported in a peer-reviewed, high-impact journal.

For the average person on the street, what this research means is that you should stop worrying about your LDL levels, and obsessively trying to get them down with drugs or diet. Tucked away in the paper was this significant finding:

“Moreover, consider that the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, a four-year long RCT [randomized controlled trial] of a low-fat diet involving 9,423 subjects, actually reported an increase in mortality and cardiovascular events despite a 13 percent reduction in total cholesterol.”

Cholesterol (LDL) went down, CVD went up. We really are wasting a colossal amount of money.

Malcolm Kendrick is a doctor and author who works as a GP in the National Health Service in England. His blog can be read here and his book, ‘Doctoring Data – How to Sort Out Medical Advice from Medical Nonsense,’ is available here.

August 4, 2020 - Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular

9 Comments »

  1. Celebrated Dr. Bruce Lipton doesn’t think much of statins, either…

    https://www.stress.org/dr-bruce-lipton-shocked-the-world-with-his-discovery

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Leland Roth | August 4, 2020 | Reply

  2. Not only are the USA Medical companies selling Statins, but the American people are in the grip of an Opioid epidemic as well. Opioid dependency has “sky rocketed” since the USA attacked Afghanistan(the home of the Opium Poppy), after “Terrorists” carried out “9/11”.

    So, it’s Statins, Opioid dependency, and now, Covid 19……The Medical Companies are “making a killing”……..join the dots, and follow the money!

    Like

    Comment by brianharryaustralia | August 4, 2020 | Reply

  3. Gone off statins myself, and have felt much better ever since.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by traducteur | August 4, 2020 | Reply

    • No doubt that they made more money off the side effects than the sales of the statins.

      Liked by 3 people

      Comment by aletho | August 4, 2020 | Reply

  4. Satanist Police State in Melbourne (Gee, Brian ~ u r ALWAYS telling everyone in the world here how bad US CORPORATION is….we r not this bad yet😷)

    August 5, 2020

    “Melbourne has become a living hell, not because of the virus (which is still mild) but because of the unleashing of a hellish police state.”

    Only one person per household, per day, can leave the house (including for groceries). Can’t go more than 3 miles from your home. The army is on the streets fining/arresting people. 

    Madness in Melbourne
    by Jeffrey Tucker

    (henrymakow.com)

    Melbourne, that glorious city in the state of Victoria in Australia, granted me some of the best travel days of my life during two separate trips each lasting a full week.

    A happy, civilized, highly educated people are here living amidst modern architecture, inspiring bridges, and natural beauty, a place where even the police are kind, and when you ask them for directions they reply with a smile, and when you say thank you, they say “No worries.”

    Now there are big worries in Melbourne.

    The Premier has imposed a vicious police state without precedent in this country’s history. His name is Dan Andrews (a sweet-sounding name that masks the tyrant he has become), and he tweets out pictures of empty streets to brag about what he has achieved in the name of suppressing a virus.

    Tacitus’s line about the Roman empire comes to mind: “Where they make a desert, they call it peace.”

    Australia is the only country in the world that has a law that people can’t be mean to each other. Now it is host to one of the world’s meanest governments.

    The catastrophe began with a spring lockdown before there were any cases of C-19 and much fewer deaths. The ethos in Australia was one of extreme exclusion and suppression of the virus, not as bad as New Zealand but pretty bad. The rest of the world can catch this disease, but Australia would use its geographical isolation and political intelligence to ban the virus. The virus will be in awe and know to stay away forever.

    It’s not a good theory because that’s not how viruses work.

    Still, it seemed to work, at first. That’s because the virus had yet to arrive.

    When the virus did arrive, the futility of the suppression strategy was revealed.

    Melbourne had set up quarantine hotels for people arriving from abroad or returning from cruises. They would spend 14 days in isolation to purge themselves of possible infection. Then all would be okay. There was a problem: the wily virus escaped.

    As a result, a nation’s pride in having suppressed the virus turned to panic and full lockdown. Internal borders are sealed. And Melbourne has become a living hell, not because of the virus (which is still mild) but because of the unleashing of a hellish police state.

    A friend summarized the situation for me:

    +Police may now enter anyone’s home without a warrant. 

    +Curfew 8:00pm. 

    + $1,652 fine if outside without “a valid reason” – an amount being raised by the day 

    + Can’t visit any family or friends. $200 fine for no mask (mandatory masks at all times). 

    +Can only exercise once per day, for up to 1 hour. 

    +Only one person per household, per day, can leave the house (including for groceries). 

    +Can’t go more than 3 miles from your home. 

    +Weddings are illegal. No gatherings of any size. 

    +Army is on the streets fining/arresting people. 

    +”Since March 21, a total of 193,740 spot checks have been conducted by police across Victoria.” 

    + Protests/activism is illegal; people have already been arrested for peaceful gatherings. 

    +Media is EXTREMELY biased, calls protesters “right-wing conspiracy nutjobs” and won’t allow discussion of whether these lockdowns are right or not. 

    +Several thousand people were placed under house arrest and unable to leave for ANY reason, with food rations delivered by the army, leading to appalling levels of personal trauma. 

    +Australia won’t release how many fines they’ve given out, but an ABC news report says it’s over $5.2 million so far. 

    +Streets of Melbourne are empty, even in a city of 5 million+ people. People are HATEFUL to each other, everyone is cannibalizing their neighbours (calling police to report any little infraction of the rules and turning on each other like some socialist hellhole). 

    +Billboards outside on the street that say in capital letters: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? STAY HOME.” They feel extremely oppressive like we’re being yelled at by a very oppressive government. 

    +The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews shows complete and utter disdain for us, constantly blaming us. He’s blamed children (yes, really) for not taking this seriously enough. Every chance he gets, he tells us it’s OUR fault the virus is spreading (even though that’s what viruses do – they spread). 

    +It’s not just the Victorian Premier – the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, is just as terrible. He’s encouraged all of this, and he was responsible for the first lockdown. 

    +1984 dystopian language: billboards everywhere saying “Staying apart keeps us together.” 

    +Have they gone mad? There’s probably more but at this point, I honestly lost track of all the insanity that’s happened. All because 147 people died in the state of Victoria (total population is 6.359 million), almost all of the deaths are over 70 with comorbidities, same as everywhere else in the world. 

    +This is lockdown ideology at work. It is a tyranny without limit, at the expense of all human dignity, decency, and rights. The politicians make a desert and call it health.

    Like everywhere else on the planet, Melbourne will have to reach herd immunity from C-19 at some point. Those who deny that are risking not only liberty and health but civilization itself.

    Perhaps the other states in Australia will observe the destruction in Victoria and learn to take another path when the virus first arrives in their territory, as it surely will. Lockdowns are not science; they are brutality.

    I cry for the once-great city of Melbourne this day. May there be justice. And may its future political leadership be granted some modicum of decency and wisdom.

    —-

    Related-  Melbourne Police Smash Car Windows and Arrest Drivers Who Refuse to Give Personal Information

    Like

    Comment by Leland Roth | August 5, 2020 | Reply

    • I was simply responding to the article by Malcolm Kendrick…….”Satanist police state in Melbourne”….I didn’t use that term at all, but, our state governments are applying stringent rules in an effort to control Covid. And, of course, no one is perfect.
      I do respond to Aletho articles critically, that’s why the articles are posted in the first place. I don’t hate America or Americans. Sometimes you just have to give your opinions, relative to the content of the articles. You must admit, the USA is facing some terrible problems, and if I’m critical, it is usually of the government, or the Corporations that treat the American people as “Cattle”…..
      Don’t be so sensitive to constructive criticism

      Like

      Comment by brianharryaustralia | August 5, 2020 | Reply

      • https://mobile.twitter.com/planetpng/status/1289890014973669377 tickle me me plant^

        Brian….u can give it out, but cannot take it?

        UPDATED 11:07 AM | JUL. 30, 2020 Gun Sales Are Surging in US.

        Maybe a few guns might help your fellow mates sort out ’em tyrants in Melbourne?

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Leland Roth | August 5, 2020 | Reply

        • Being criticized by you Leland, is like being flogged with a warm lettuce……..”Must try harder”….

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by brianharryaustralia | August 5, 2020 | Reply

          • Let me know when some Aussie mate of your comes close to telling Aussies the truth of their current dire circumstances like our former American spy Spookd does for Americans😉

            https://mobile.twitter.com/SpookdBlog

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by Leland Roth | August 5, 2020 | Reply


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