I would like to congratulate Dr. Christopher Nagy for an excellent article in the Salisbury Post and the FDA (who agree with Dr. Nagy) for finally stepping up and telling us the real truth about the cholesterol lowering statin drugs.

Statins are more commonly known by the brand names Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor and will block an enzyme that plays a big part in the liver’s production of cholesterol.

Cholesterol is absolutely required by your body in so many ways. It is not the villain that they want you to believe but of course globally they made over 170 billion dollars pushing statins to lower your cholesterol.

Statins are very dangerous drugs, and the studies have been pouring in over the last five years of all the major health risks caused by these agents.

The drug company sponsored “experts” want to tell you things like: “The value of statins in preventing heart disease has been clearly established,” or that, “The benefits of statin medications for most individuals exceed the potential risks.” But the real bottom line is that they may be helpful for only a very small group of patients (1%), clearly not the dangerous massive overprescribing that is occurring now.

A recent report by the Cochrane Collaboration team carefully reviewed all the statin literature and recommended that statins should not be used in Primary Prevention. Did you hear much about that? 

Their damning new analysis found that statins don’t make any difference for 99.9 percent of all low-risk customers conned and coerced into taking them because of an elevated cholesterol level.

Primary prevention means you have a blood test and your cholesterol is 230 (or even 201). Your doctor tells you that you need to be on a cholesterol lowering drug or you will have a stroke or a heart attack.

This careful review clearly demonstrates that is a lie – no, a damn lie.

Forcing these customers (and now making them patients with a disease process) has made statins the world’s best-selling drugs. There are millions of people who take these medications every day despite no history of heart attacks or heart disease, or even in patients with normal cholesterol levels.

Dr. Abramson, Harvard Professor wrote in the Lancet that there is no indication for any women to take a statin. None.

In a French study, women between 60 and 75 had a 5 times higher mortality in five years when their cholesterol level was 160 or below, versus a women with a cholesterol level of 260. In other words, the higheryour cholesterol, the longer you survive!

This study was recently confirmed in a 2010 Scandinavian Journal article. And now the recent study that prompted the FDA to take more control over the overprescribing of Statins, stated that postmenopausal women have a 48 % increase incidence of Diabetes when taking a Statin.

So why are people taking statins? I don’t know (well I do…and you need to follow the money), but as a heart surgeon I have a very good understanding of heart disease. I have touched coronary arteries and opened them up, and performed over 3000 heart surgeries and what causes heart disease isn’t cholesterol but inflammation. 

One fact is clear and that is taking statins for elevated cholesterol is certainly not doing anyone any good and probably doing harm.

Of course, the drug companies have made 170 billion dollars globally while making you a patient with a disease.

The new 2011 study carefully looked at 14 clinical trials involving more than 34,000 customers and found you’d have to give 1,000 of these people statins every day for an entire year to prevent a single death.

Please understand that your doctor is being told that that they must follow the statin, cholesterol lowering drug guidelines or else.  But, the data doesn’t support it and the doctors writing the guidelines are bought and paid for by Big Pharma.

So don’t be so tough on your doctor but do tell him you won’t take it, that cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, and maybe that you’ll take Omega-3 fish oils, exercise and eat better avoiding carbohydrates are much better choices.

Taking a statin will not only increase your risk of memory changes and diabetes, but also make all your joints hurt, cause you to gain weight and may spiral you into depression. Just say no to statins if you are only being treated for a cholesterol number.

And to put the statins in the correct perspective, a recent study showed that owning a cat is almost 25 times more effective in lowering the risk of dying from heart disease than taking a statin!

I urge you to speak with your doctor and tell him about all this new information that does not support using statins because he may not know.

And you can be sure his cholesterol lowering drug reps won’t tell him either. Thank you to the FDA for starting down the road to regulate the over-prescribing of statins and thank you to Dr. Nagy for educating the patients and physicians in Salisbury.

Robert Carlson, MD, FACS, Cardiothoracic Surgeon