A few weeks ago an Italian research group told us that old healthy people get much benefit from statin treatment. In the abstract you can read that there was no significant effect on mortality, but the risk of myocardial infarction plummeted by 39.4 % and the risk of stroke by 23.8 % already after 3,5 years treatment. These figures were calculated from the results in eight statin trials in a so-called meta-analysis.
The paper has been commented in several newsmedia since then. They also cite Gregg Fonarow´s comment to the study. He is a professor in cardiology and spokesman for the American Heart Association and has received grant and research support from Pfizer, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and GlaxoSmithKline corporations. You have probably heard his message before: “Statins represent one of the most effective strategies for individual and population-level cardiovascular health… The benefits of statins outweigh their risks for primary prevention in the clinical trials conducted so far.”
But the figures from the Italian study were given in the abstract as percentages, not percentage points. If you don’t know the difference, read my July 2012 Newsletter. Inside the paper (most doctors and researchers only read abstracts) you can read that “a myocardial infarction occurred in 2.7 % of subjects allocated to statins compared to 3.9 % of those in placebo” and “stroke was reported in 2.1 % of subjects randomized to statins compared to 2.8% in placebo”.
Thus, the benefit as regards non-fatal myocardial infarction was only 1.2 percentage points and the benefit as regards non-fatal stroke was only 0.7 percentage points. And remember that both a heart attack and a stroke may often heal with little or no permanent damage, whereas statin treatment is associated with many serious side effects. Those of you who have read my books know that according to independent researchers muscular problems occur in at least 20 %; just as many men become impotent; diabetes occur in about 4 % and an unknown number suffer from mental disturbances including memory loss, depression, sleeping disturbances and Alzheimer.
The strongest argument against cholesterol-lowering treatment of old people is that more than 20 studies have shown that old people with high cholesterol live the longest. If you think that this sounds incredible, you can read the papers yourself because I have given all the references to these studies on one of my cholesterol sites. I have not yet found a study showing the opposite.
Has the mafia taken over the drug industry?
There is overwhelming evidence that industry-sponsored cholesterol researchers have misled the world for half a century. Since long I have suspected that the mafia has invaded the big drug companies. I mean, there are many more healthy people than addicts in this world.
The list of misinformations about cholesterol, one of the most important molecules in our body, is almost endless, and more and more researchers have realised it. Read for instance a revealing paper published recently in Scientific Research. If you are not familiar with the scientific language, Justin Smith has summarized the key points of the paper.
On the same website you can order a copy of “Statin Nation”, Justin´s brilliant and informative film, where he has interviewed a number of critical scientists including myself. As far as I know it has not yet been shown on any television program. I assume that no program director has the guts to provoke the drug industry.But in Denmark there is a courageous professor at the University Hospital of Copenhagen. His name is Peter Gøtzsche. He is well-known for having started the Nordic Cochrane Centre, and he is also its head. Among his many contributions to science is his paper, where he has documented that mammography has converted numerous healthy women into patients without lowering breast cancer mortality. Here is an interview with Gøtzsche about that.
Recently he has published a book where he uncovers the many fraudulent ways we have been tricked to destroy our health by the products of the drug industry. The title of the book says it all: “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How big pharma has corrupted healthcare.” His book has been published in Danish as well
In his book he has documented his accusations by references to more than 900 papers and documents and the book has two laudatory forewords; one of them by Drummond Rennie, former editor of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the other by Richard Smith, former editor of British Medical Journal. You can read the latter here.
Gøtzsche was interviewed in Danish television about his book and it has risen much debate in the newspapers. He has of course been attacked personally as well by the establishment, but without pertinent arguments.
And if he is wrong: why haven´t the drug companies drawn him into court???
Good fat and bad fat
Those of you who have read my books or newsletters will know that the warnings against dietary cholesterol and saturated fat are created out of thin air. In case you are still in doubt, read the article by THINCS members Malcolm Kendrick and Duane Graveline, and a report from Göran Petersson, professor at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmer´s University in Gothenburg