Archive | Cholesterol and Statins RSS feed for this section

Article reveals unseen cause of bias that risks compromising the evidence-base for statins and other drugs

The supposed ‘gold standard’ method of medical research is the ‘randomised controlled trial’. What this means in drug therapy research is that a group of individuals are randomly assigned to the treatment being studied or placebo, and the outcomes and effects compared. In the ‘best’ trials, neither the study participant not the investigators know who […]

Continue Reading Comments { 4 }

How accurate are Professor Collins’ claims about the rates of muscle problems with statins?

I have written more than once about Professor Sir Rory Collins. He leads the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists collaboration in Oxford, UK. Periodically, this group takes (private) statin study data and churns out bold pronouncements on the (supposed) great effectiveness and safety of these drugs. Professor Collins recently tried to get the BMJ to retract two […]

Continue Reading Comments { 29 }

Evidence links higher cholesterol with lower risk of death in older individuals

Cholesterol in the bloodstream is carried within protein-rich packages known as ‘lipoproteins’. These come in two main types, so-called ‘low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol’ (LDL-C) and ‘high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol’ (HDL-C). Conventional wisdom has it that LDL-C is responsible for dumping cholesterol on the inside of arteries, and is dubbed ‘bad cholesterol’ as a result. On the other hand, HDL-cholesterol […]

Continue Reading Comments { 25 }

Has Professor Collins’ call for BMJ ‘statin’ papers to be retracted backfired spectacularly?

Professor Sir Rory Collins is one of the most strident advocates of statin therapy, and also leads a ‘research group’ known as the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists collaboration (CTT). Professor Collins and his colleagues hold a huge database of from statin studies, and quite-often ‘crunch the numbers’ and pronounce statins to be highly effective and very […]

Continue Reading Comments { 15 }

More evidence that ‘modifying’ cholesterol does not necessarily have broad benefits for health

Higher levels of so-called ‘HDL-cholesterol’ is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular issues including heart disease and stroke. This finding has led to the widespread view that raising HDL levels has benefits for health, particularly with regard to cardiovascular risk. There are three main classes of agents that are known to boost HDL levels: the […]

Continue Reading Comments { 15 }

Can we assume the reductions in cholesterol translate into benefits for health?

The aorta is the major blood vessels that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body (except the lungs). Sometimes, individuals can be born with a narrowing of this vessel – a condition known as ‘coarctation of the aorta’. This defect can be repaired surgically. Those with this condition have been noted […]

Continue Reading Comments { 13 }

Review highlights to potential for statins to negate the benefits of exercise

Those keen to optimise their cardiovascular health and reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke may well, in addition to ‘eating right’, take steps to ‘take exercise’ and be physically fit. Usually, the prescribed exercise here come in the form of ‘cardiovascular’ or ‘aerobic’ forms such as walking, jogging, cycling or rowing. Such activities […]

Continue Reading Comments { 11 }

French food agency sceptical about the benefits of cholesterol-reducing foods

Many readers will be familiar with cholesterol reducing ‘functional foods’ such as margarines and yoghurt drinks. These foods and ‘enriched’ with ‘stanols’ or ‘sterols’: substances that have a similar chemical structure to cholesterol, and help inhibit its absorption from the digestive tract into the bloodstream, These substances do indeed have some capacity to reduce cholesterol […]

Continue Reading Comments { 13 }

How do statin proponents deal with debate? They stifle it.

Last month, one of my blog posts featured a letter written by a group of doctors, expressing their concerns about the mooted expansion of statin therapy. The letter detailed six major objections to the plan, including the mass-medicalization of millions of healthy individuals, the unreliability of the evidence regarding the adverse effects of statins, and […]

Continue Reading Comments { 22 }

More evidence points to statins as a potential cause of heart failure

The debate about the safety of statins continues to rage, with some researchers claiming that they are essentially no more harmful that placebo. In reality, though, the evidence on which these claims are based is flawed for several reasons. Here are just some of those reasons: 1. Commercial sponsors of clinical trials may not be […]

Continue Reading Comments { 6 }