I was too optimistic in my previous newsletter. I thought that finally the editorial board of British Medical Journal, one of the world´s most influential and respected medical journals, had realized that there is something seriously wrong with the cholesterol campaign. But in the latest issue a paper was published entitled “Statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease” in which the authors recommend the readers to follow the official guidelines.
Because The Cholesterol Treatment Trialists Collaboration reported “a 20% relative risk reduction per 1 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol concentration for major vascular events.
The relative risk is, as you know, seriously misleading. From my previous newsletters you know that the absolute risk reduction was less than one per cent.
Because “adverse events…occur at similar rates in treated and control groups”.
Because “muscle pain is not linked with statin use”.
Because “treating 255 people for four years would cause one case of diabetes”.
This number, equivalent with 0.4%, was based on a meta-analysis with 30 authors, most of whom are supported financially by the drug companies. Obviously they had forgotten the results from the largest trial ever, the Women´s Health Initiative according to which ten times more among the statin-treated women got diabetes.
What offended me the most was the following: “Earlier concerns about cancer risk are unfounded”. Obviously they have also ignored our cancer review although it was published in Quarterly Journal of Medicine, the journal of the British Medical Association. You can read more about my objections in a comment published on the web by BMJ as a “Rapid Response. Go to their paper and click on “Read responses”.