Why don’t the ‘excellent’ benefits of statins seen in clinical trials appear to transfer to the population at large?

One claim that is often made about cholesterol-reducing ‘statin’ drugs is their ability to reduce cardiovascular events (essentially heart attacks and strokes) by a third. This is a reference to studies in which individuals have been treated with a, say, a statin or a placebo (randomised controlled trials). Saying that a drug reduces risk of […]

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Study provides evidence that the hazards of cancer screening receive scant attention

The concept behind screening for cancer is that earlier detection will lead to more timely and more effective treatment. However, objective analysis tends to reveal that, generally speaking, large numbers of people need to be screen for one life to be saved from the disease being screened for. For example, using mammography as an example, […]

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Statin drug found to impair learning and memory in animals

One of my blogs last week focused on the potential impact statins have on the development or symptoms of dementia. Interest in this area is an example of the growing recognition that statins have the ability to affect brain functioning. As I briefly mentioned last week, even the Food and Drugs Administration in the US […]

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Do statins reduce the risk of dementia?

Last month I noticed several reports in the news about a study concerning the relationship between statins and dementia (see here for an example). The study in question was presented at a cardiology conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This research found that, over a 4 and a half-year period, statin use was associated with a […]

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Exercise – when less can be more

I regard myself as quite an active person, but the intensity or volume of the exercise I take is nothing like it once was. For extended spells during my childhood and early adulthood I was a ‘keen’ runner. I participated in athletics and cross-country running at school, and continued running afterwards too. At some points, […]

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Evidence suggests one form of exercise might actually suppress appetite

While I am an enthusiastic advocate of exercise, I am sometimes keen to dispel the idea that it helps the ‘pounds drop off’. Actually, the bulk of the evidence does not support exercise as a particularly effective tool for weight loss. Somehow, I think people are wising up to this now. For instance, I’ve had […]

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Doctors can help you get back on your statins, but does this help you?

The side-effects of statin drugs are well-recognised, and include muscle pain, fatigue, mental symptoms, kidney damage or liver damage. Some doctors and researchers have decided to change the nomenclature on these side-effects by referring to people who have them as ‘statin intolerant’. I may be wrong, but this seems to me to be a way […]

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Is lack of sleep a potential factor in rising rates of obesity?

I noticed this news story yesterday, which reports on research published recently in the journal Obesity. The research, from Sweden, assessed the effects of sleep deprivation on food purchasing [1]. Fourteen men were given about $50 to spend on food in two settings: once after the men had a full night’s sleep, and once after […]

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Is the concept of getting cholesterol down to a particular level evidence-based?

This week there’s been a big cardiological meeting (the European Society of Cardiology) going on in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. One of the studies presented at the meeting is reported here. The research compared the number of patients achieving recommended LDL-cholesterol levels in the UK with those in Germany. It turns out that the numbers […]

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Higher protein diets are better for fat loss and muscle preservation during weight loss

When people deliberately lose weight, usually what they are seeking to shed is excess fat. Unfortunately, evidence shows that a good proportion of any weight lost on a restrictive diet can come from muscle, and this is something that is generally best avoided. One thing that can help here is resistance exercise where the body […]

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