Heart disease: Long-term study proves benefit of statins

November 23, 2011

Statins safely reduce the risk of cardiovascular illness even years after treatment is stopped, according to a probe into the popular cholesterol-busters published on Wednesday.

Statins work by blocking a that makes fatty molecules which line arterial walls and boost the danger of heart disease and strokes.

With worldwide annual sales of more than 20 billion dollars, the drugs have been dubbed "the aspirin of the 21st century" because of their benefit and wide use.

But lingering questions persist about their long-term safety for the heart, liver and .

Researchers at the Heart Protection Study Collaborative Group in Oxford looked at 20,536 patients at risk of cardiovascular disease who were randomly allocated 40mg daily of simvastatins or a dummy look-alike over more than five years.

During this period, those who took the statins saw a reduction in "bad" and a 23-percent reduction in episodes of vascular ill-health compared to the .

The monitoring of the volunteers continued for a further six years after the trial ended.

The benefits persisted throughout this monitoring period among those volunteers who stopped taking the statins, the investigators found.

In addition, there was no emergence of any health hazard among those who had taken, or were continuing to take, the drugs.

A large number of cancers (nearly 3,500) developed during this follow-up period, but there was no difference in between the statin and placebo groups.

"The persistence of benefit we observed among participants originally allocated during the subsequent six-year post-trial period is remarkable," said one of the investigators, Richard Bulbulia.

"In addition, the reliable evidence of safety, with no excess risk of cancer or other major illnesses during over 11 years follow-up, is very reassuring for doctors who prescribe statins and the increasingly large numbers of patients who take them long-term to reduce their risk of vascular disease."

A previous investigation in November 2010 found that long-term use of statins was less risky than thought for people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a common liver ailment.

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5 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2011
Heart disease: Long-term study proves benefit of statins

Except this study proves nothing of the sort.

The study shows that statins reduce blood levels of cholesterol (something which has been known since their discovery).

The study did not show a reduction in heart disease, extension of life span or increase in quality of life.

The ill defined "23-percent reduction in episodes of vascular ill-health" is meaningless.

This 20 billion dollar per year scam is so lucrative that the drug companies will go to any length to maintain the fiction that these drugs are beneficial.
5 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2011

those fatty molecules are the same ones that make up the brain and cell coatings among other body parts.

Lipitor almost killed me making me bed ridden like fibromialgia systems which I now think caused hers and maybe her death.

So anyone telling you statins are fine are lying. I wonder how many fibromialgia, RA, etc are really statin induced and incorrectly dignosed.
5 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2011
Statins are dangerous and sometimes fatal. They can cause permanent damage as well.

not rated yet Nov 24, 2011
I'm not surprised at your responses. I agree with you guys. It has also been shown that statins leach CoQ10 out of the body, including the heart (which can lead to heart failure, INSTEAD of a heart attack). These enzymes are crucial for energy production in the body. That can induce CFS like symptoms too. It is also not unknown for a person on statins to begin displaying symptoms correlating with Alsheimer's disease. Many doctors won't even THINK of advising patients to supplement, to counter the loss (that's if they are even aware of the significance..). Go off the statins, you should begin to recover, if permanent damage isn't already done. I currently have a friend on longterm statin use, whom I've watched decline over the last few years. He has increasing fatigue and memory loss and is still hesitating about changing his medication (there are other options), despite several of us trying to encourage him. (unfortunately).
Best regards to all, DH66
5 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2011
Of course, statins are beneficial for cardiovascular system, this is why they were developed. But they're toxic for kidney and liver too. The people with diabetes, signs of metabolic syndrome or symptoms of kidney failure (i.e. elevated levels of kreatinine in urine) should judge quite carefully such a medication.
not rated yet Nov 24, 2011
The problem is, the people with arterosclerosis often suffer with fat livers and atheroembolic renal disease too - so they've increased sensitivity to toxic chemicals, including statins because of their slower metabolism of detoxification.
5 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2011

Of course, statins are beneficial for cardiovascular system, this is why they were developed.

There has been no study which has shown that modifying cholesterol through the use of statins has any beneficial effect.

The only study which found a benefit from the use of statins was the Jupiter study which was rigged by requiring the participants to have high levels of CRP. Statins are anti-inflammatory and the benefit in the Jupiter study was due to anti-inflammatory activity -- not cholesterol changes.

There is simply nothing to indicate that changing a person's cholesterol levels is beneficial.
5 / 5 (2) Nov 25, 2011
Prior review of this Oxford group is referenced in last sentence of INTERPRETATION section at:

The CTSU branch of Oxford has been criticized for not releasing all group study data about deaths and for inappropriately combining dissimilar endpoints and groups to suggest benefit for all. Having received over m105 ($m200) from cholesterol-lowering drug manufacturers in addition to the funding from the sources listed above, their objectivity has been questioned.
Nov 25, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
not rated yet Nov 25, 2011
There has been no study which has shown that modifying cholesterol through the use of statins has any beneficial effect.
In some cases the heavy doses of statins can dissolve the cholesterol plaques from the walls of artheria.



The problem is, this effect appears just at the dosage, which may be dangerous for kidney and livers under prolonged use. And it cannot be generalized to all types of statins used for medication indeed.
not rated yet Nov 25, 2011
The effect of statins on dissolution of plaques is rather mild (we are talking about volume percents here)

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_anQ81dzOVXk/SAEo9ldMncI/AAAAAAAAAbk/V8XIV0wWPkw/s1600-h/ASTEROID-LDL reduction vs regression.gif

but it can be increased with niacin vitamine.

5 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2011
NIH stoped clinical trial on combination cholesterol treatment
Niacin combo had no benefit unexplained increase in ischemic stroke

Statin therapy associated with increased risk of diabetes
JAMA: findings of several trials.. June 2011

Statins increase risk of postoperative delirium in elderly patients

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