If LDL-cholesterol is bad, as we have been told for many years, those with the highest values should of course have a shorter life than those with low values because, as we have been told as well, high LDL-cholesterol is the main cause of all kinds of cardiovascular diseases, and cardiovascular disease is the commonest cause of death in most countries. But as I have told in a previous newsletter, we have found that elderly people with high LDL-cholesterol live the longest.
Our paper was published in BMJ and hitherto no one has been able to point at a study documenting the opposite. On the contrary, after the publication of our paper similar findings have been found in six studies including about 750 000 individuals in all ages from eleven countries.
In a 10-year Slovakian follow-up study of almost 500 elderly people with high blood pressure, those with high total cholesterol and those with high LDL-cholesterol lived just as long as those with low values.
In a British study of almost 100,000 people above the age of eighty followed for 15 years, those with the highest total cholesterol lived the longest; both among those on statin treatment and those without.
In an Australian study of almost 1300 men about the age of seventy followed for about six years, those with the highest cholesterol and without statin treatment lived the longest, and those with the lowest levels suffered more often from cardiovascular disease.
In a five-year American follow-up study of more than 2600 healthy people above the age of 75, those with the highest LDL-cholesterol did not suffer more often from cardiovascular disease than those with the lowest values.
In two Korean studies of more than half a million young and middle-age people without statin treatment followed for about five years, mortality was highest among those with the lowest LDL-cholesterol.
In a Chinese study including almost 70 000 elderly people followed for 3-4 years, those with high LDL-cholesterol lived just as long as those with low values.
Probably you wonder why many previous studies of young and middle-aged people have shown that high cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Most likely, stress is a more common phenomenon among young and middle-aged people than among senior citizens, and stress is able to raise cholesterol by up to 50 per cent and may cause heart disease by other mechanisms than by raising cholesterol.
However, a few months ago, European Society of Cardiology and European Atherosclerosis Society published revisions of their guidelines for the management of chronic heart disease, blood lipids and diabetes repeating and repeating all the well-known general advices. Together, the three papers with the new guidelines written by 69 authors and 119 reviewers fill 218 complicated pages and had more than 1700 references to the medical literature. However, none of the studies mentioned above were mentioned.
In the guidelines there were links to the authors´ and the reviewers´ conflicts of interest. They were difficult to find but here they come:
The 23 authors of the Diabetes guidelines (72 pages)
A relevant question is, why we should lower cholesterol if high cholesterol is harmless or beneficial, but as far as I know, the mentioned studies have made no impact on the cholesterol authorities in any country.
Today, millions of healthy people are treated with a drug with minimal benefit, if any at all, and with many serious side effects. According to the drug industry, side effects from statin treatment are rare. If you believe in that, read the following papers:
Obviously, the politicians responsible for health care do not know about these facts. Or are they paid by Big Pharma to keep silent? Read for instance a recent report from The Center for Responsive Politics. You can read about this organization on Wikipedia
In 2018 we therefore published a review of all the falsifications of the cholesterol hypothesis in the journal Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology. According to Taylor & Francis who publish more than a hundred scientific journals, more than 10,000 open access papers were published during the year 2018 and our paper was placed on the top of their list of the most–downloaded papers. But nothing happens.
In our view, the only way to stop the cholesterol campaign, the greatest medical scandal in modern time, is to inform the general public. Together with some of my colleagues I have tried to publish many critical articles about the cholesterol campaign for many years in the media, but in most cases in vain. Therefore, I ask you to spread this information to your family members, to all of your friends and colleagues and to all kinds of organizations.