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Old 10-01-2004, 10:05 AM   #1
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phil58 HB Userphil58 HB User
Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

My MD prescribed Lipitor to reduce cholesterol. After filling the prescription, decided to start doing research.

http://www.************.org/moderndiseases/statin.html - EXCELLENT breakdown on the different studies and their failures
www.mercola.com - has several articles about the statin drugs
http://www.lipid.org/clinical/articles/1000009.php - is the Heart Protection Study
Couple of comments on the HPS, (and this is the same problem with all the studies), is how they are using statistics, and the number of people that were dropped from the study, due to side affects. The study had a six week "lead-in", and something like 30,000 people were dropped from the study, and NOT counted in the percentage of people with side affects.
There were 10,269 people on statins and 10,267 people on placebo. Out of those 20,500+ study participants, 577 on statins died from a heart attack, 701 on placebo died from a heart attack. The drug companies report and calculate that to be a 25% improvement in mortality rate. An interesting point, using their statistical method, it's only 21%. But, using that statistical method ignores the 19,500 people who didn't die from a heart attack. The real percentage improvement is actually only 1.7%. Remember, over the five year study, they only "saved" 25 people per year. Lipitor has acknowledged a 5% rate of side affects. Dr. Golomb is doing a govt funded research study on side affects, and she's already reporting much much higher rates of side affects.

There are also several BBS devoted to problems with Statin's. Google, Lipitor problems, statin problems, and be prepared for hundreds of valid links.

One of the things that statins do is remove CoQ10 from the body. This enzyme is very needed for muscle energy. There is concern that statins are going to create a huge group of people that will have congestive heart failure, and the belief that low levels of CoQ10 is causing the problem. Supplemental CoQ10 (in gel cap form) should be mandatory with statins. There's also a belief that the magic answer is lower cholesterol. There's an extremely loose correlation between cholesterol and heart attacks. Statins do an excellent job of lowering cholesterol. Total mortality is virtually identical between statin and placebo, which should be the true measure of statins effectiveness. There is also evidence that statins increase the risk of cancer. Lipitor's own ads say "It has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks." If it's not going to prevent heart attack then why the heck would we take it???

This was all started after my Md prescribed Lipitor. Research led me to the following conclusions:

Absolutely NO statins.
Low carb diet.
Lipid profile needs to be done with sub particle size LDL.
Calcium screening cat scan needs to be done.

Good luck with your research

 
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Old 10-01-2004, 10:28 AM   #2
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ty123 HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

I disagree with you, but more importantly the following institutions disagree with you:

Yale University Medical School
Harvard University Medical School
The Mayo Clinic
Johns Hopkins

All recommend a diet low in fat, particularly saturated fats, and higher in complex carbohydrates. All recommend medications that include statins in cases where diet does not reduce cholesterol to a healthy level.

On your side you've got some guy named Dr. Mercola, and the Atkins Fad diet. The low carb diet does indeed work for some people, if you're one of them and its working for you, great, but in mainstream medicine there is no controversy about the wrongness of your conclusions.

 
Old 10-01-2004, 10:33 AM   #3
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rahod HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by phil58
My MD prescribed Lipitor to reduce cholesterol. After filling the prescription, decided to start doing research.

[url]http://www.************.org/moderndiseases/statin.html[/url] - EXCELLENT breakdown on the different studies and their failures
[url]www.mercola.com[/url] - has several articles about the statin drugs
[url]http://www.lipid.org/clinical/articles/1000009.php[/url] - is the Heart Protection Study
Couple of comments on the HPS, (and this is the same problem with all the studies), is how they are using statistics, and the number of people that were dropped from the study, due to side affects. The study had a six week "lead-in", and something like 30,000 people were dropped from the study, and NOT counted in the percentage of people with side affects.
There were 10,269 people on statins and 10,267 people on placebo. Out of those 20,500+ study participants, 577 on statins died from a heart attack, 701 on placebo died from a heart attack. The drug companies report and calculate that to be a 25% improvement in mortality rate. An interesting point, using their statistical method, it's only 21%. But, using that statistical method ignores the 19,500 people who didn't die from a heart attack. The real percentage improvement is actually only 1.7%. Remember, over the five year study, they only "saved" 25 people per year. Lipitor has acknowledged a 5% rate of side affects. Dr. Golomb is doing a govt funded research study on side affects, and she's already reporting much much higher rates of side affects.

There are also several BBS devoted to problems with Statin's. Google, Lipitor problems, statin problems, and be prepared for hundreds of valid links.

One of the things that statins do is remove CoQ10 from the body. This enzyme is very needed for muscle energy. There is concern that statins are going to create a huge group of people that will have congestive heart failure, and the belief that low levels of CoQ10 is causing the problem. Supplemental CoQ10 (in gel cap form) should be mandatory with statins. There's also a belief that the magic answer is lower cholesterol. There's an extremely loose correlation between cholesterol and heart attacks. Statins do an excellent job of lowering cholesterol. Total mortality is virtually identical between statin and placebo, which should be the true measure of statins effectiveness. There is also evidence that statins increase the risk of cancer. Lipitor's own ads say "It has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks." If it's not going to prevent heart attack then why the heck would we take it???

This was all started after my Md prescribed Lipitor. Research led me to the following conclusions:

Absolutely NO statins.
Low carb diet.
Lipid profile needs to be done with sub particle size LDL.
Calcium screening cat scan needs to be done.

Good luck with your research
So you don't think statins do ANYONE any good? Well, you are wrong my friend, but certainly entitled to your opinion. BTW>>>what were your #s? That would be interesting.

Oh another thing for your *research*

:[url]http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/106/25/3163[/url]

Last edited by rahod; 10-01-2004 at 11:13 AM.

 
Old 10-01-2004, 10:45 AM   #4
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ty123 HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

Low Carb diets
Grapefruit Juice Diets
Alien Abduction
The man on the grassy knoll

Everyone has to believe in something...I believe I'll have another Lipitor.

 
Old 10-01-2004, 11:11 AM   #5
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phil58 HB Userphil58 HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

Sticking with the facts,

There is an extremely low benefit rate of statins

From the Heart Protection Study
6.83% of the placebo patients died due to a cardiac event
5.62% of the statin patients died due to a cardiac event

9.18% of the placebo patients died due to any vascular event
7.70% of the statin patients died due to any vascular event.

Using the statistics as presented in the paper the statin group had a 25% reduction in the rate of vascular events. Using my calculator
6.83%-5.62%=1.2%

In addition, if you have a cardiac event, mortality rate is HIGHER on statin.

In an informal survey of physician friends and acquaintances

my MD said absolutely I have to take it
caridologist friend said not unless absolutely necessary and my numbers could be controlled by diet
surgeon friend said absolutely not, the side affect rate is way too high, and the benefits are not there
peditrician friend would not allow her own husband to take it
Aviation and GP acquaintance said not unless absolutely necessary
aviation and cardilogist acquaintance said absolutely take it
Father in Laws MD want's him off Zocor ASAP, but said he has to lose 30 lbs first.

Even within the medical community, there is not the overwhelming support for statins.

Before I started taking the prescribed Lipitor, I talked to close friend who I figured had been taking the drug. After three years, he's suffering serious muscle problems, to the point of it hurts him just to walk. Liver tests are only slightly higher then normal. Dr. Golomb is running an independent, govt funded, evaluation of statin side affects. She's finding an extremely high percentage of muscle side affects, something like 90%. In addition, 30% of patients are experiencing decreased mental abilities.

Go ahead and take it, but the data does not support the claimed benefit. I will agree statins do an excellent job lowering cholesterol, but have very little benefit on cardiac events, or even life expectency, especially considering the high percentage of serious side affects.

 
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Old 10-01-2004, 11:36 AM   #6
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zip2play HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

I strongly feel that anyone who wants to avoid statins should do so like the plague.
However, I do not understand this MISSION to convert everyone to giving them up?

I can't understand why the doom and gloomers don't go to a DIET and NUTRITION, or NATURAL FOODS board and talk up the advantages of healthy living to avoid heart attacks.

How many more quacks like Mercola and Ravnovzsky does the world need.

A board entitled High Cholesterol is geared towards people presumably with High Cholesterol (hence the similarity between the NAME of the board nand the CONDITION.)
Is it unreasonable to expect positive comments on methods to deal with same?

When I quit Atkins, I didn't go round to the several/MANY Atkins boards on the net (some of which I had THOUSANDS of posts on) dedicated specifically to promulagation of the diet and try to tell everyone how dangerous and useless their diet methods were...I just quietly slipped away!

People who are here and have made choices on methods to control what they perceive as a dangerous situation can grow mightly weary by the ENDLESS repetition of the made-up horrors of these drugs and their utter uselessness...people who drop $50 or more a month on these drugs are reasonably convinced they are useful.
Endless repetitions of the Mercola and Ravnovsky's dire warnings of a statin Armegeddon won't change that...and Lord repetition IS repetion and....thus, repetitious!

Going to a High Cholesterol board and saying cholesterol isn't a problem is very akin to going to an Arthritis board and telling people their pain is made up or to an HIV board and saying AIDS doesn't really exist (yes the Gary Nulls of the world actually BELIEVE this, too.)

Last edited by zip2play; 10-01-2004 at 11:53 AM.

 
Old 10-01-2004, 11:44 AM   #7
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ty123 HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

Yes! Please heed Zip2play and find a board where a religious discussion of low carb diets is ongoing even as we speak.

This is the High Cholesterol board, not the Low Carb board.

 
Old 10-01-2004, 12:08 PM   #8
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cloverberry HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

you can find a study for anything you do that's good or bad. I'm going to trust and believe in what my doctor says.

 
Old 10-01-2004, 12:17 PM   #9
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phil58 HB Userphil58 HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

Jeez this is a tough board. Out of everything I typed, you picked out one lousy line where I said "I" was going low carb?

I do appreciate the reference to the long article, where it also said there is a loose correlation of cholesterol to CHD.

Let me restate the HPS statistics

20,536 patients
577 died from CHD while taking statins
701 died from CHD while taking placebos

OVER FIVE YEARS

Regardless of how much the drug companies spend on advertising, or promotional activity, the extremely limited benefit is just not there.

Lets look at the cost of saving those 124 lives
20,536 x 5 years x $1,400 / yr = $1,159,290 PER PATIENT

There is way too high risk of side affects. How can you ignore half (or more) the HPS patients were kicked out during the six week lead in due to side affects?

It's too bad this board is only here to serve up a drug solution to a problem that may or may not be real.

 
Old 10-01-2004, 12:22 PM   #10
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phil58 HB Userphil58 HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloverberry
you can find a study for anything you do that's good or bad. I'm going to trust and believe in what my doctor says.
OK, my own Dr. said trust him, but several other Dr's said absolutely not. Just for grins I called a co-worker who's father recently had bypass. LOW CARB ALERT His Dr. put him on a low carb diet, and not statins. In fairness, my own father's cardiologist had him on statins, and was going to put him on a vegitarian diet. He unfortunately died after a two week hospital stay.

The Dr's are not unified on statin therapy.

 
Old 10-01-2004, 01:17 PM   #11
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rahod HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by phil58
Sticking with the facts,

There is an extremely low benefit rate of statins

From the Heart Protection Study
6.83% of the placebo patients died due to a cardiac event
5.62% of the statin patients died due to a cardiac event

9.18% of the placebo patients died due to any vascular event
7.70% of the statin patients died due to any vascular event.

Using the statistics as presented in the paper the statin group had a 25% reduction in the rate of vascular events. Using my calculator
6.83%-5.62%=1.2%
Here's more *research* for you:

Since the ATP II report, trials using statins have been reassuring for total mortality considerations. Five large long-term cholesterol-lowering trials using statins, as well as 11 smaller trials of 2-4 years duration, were published between 1993 and 1999.206,207,416,432,434-436,483-487 In these trials, which encompass more than 17,000 statin treated persons followed for an average of 5 years, statin drugs have consistently produced reductions of 18 percent or more in serum cholesterol levels, and have been remarkably free of adverse effects. Two of the large secondary prevention trials, 4S435 and LIPID,206 demonstrated significant reductions in mortality by themselves, and several others showed clear trends in the same direction. Meta-analysis of these trials shows an overall 29 percent reduction in CHD mortality (p<0.001) and an 11 percent reduction in non-CHD mortality (p=0.06). All-cause mortality was reduced by 22 percent (p<0.001). Finally, a global meta-analysis incorporating 40 trials using statins, fibrates, sequestrants (or partial ileal bypass surgery), nicotinic acid, and/or diet to lower cholesterol now shows a 12 percent reduction in all-cause mortality (p<0.001) (Table II.9-1). The results in Table II.9-1 constitute a refinement of a recent meta-analysis reported by Gordon.45 Results were prepared for ATP III by panel members D. Gordon and M.A. Proschan.

Here is link to the table:

http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content-nw/full/106/25/3163/TBL22

 
Old 10-01-2004, 01:35 PM   #12
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ty123 HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

phil58 said, "It's too bad this board is only here to serve up a drug solution to a problem that may or may not be real."

This board is about lowering cholesterol to reduce the incidence of heart disease via diet, exercise, or nutritional supplements.

You think the problem may not be real. Would you care to comment on why the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and other institutions mentioned earlier in the thread haven't caught up to your insight into the issue?

 
Old 10-01-2004, 02:09 PM   #13
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rahod HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

"Would you care to comment on why the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and other institutions mentioned earlier in the thread haven't caught up to your insight into the issue?"

I guess Phil would say they're ALL IN DENIAL

Last edited by rahod; 10-01-2004 at 02:10 PM.

 
Old 10-01-2004, 03:34 PM   #14
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ARIZONA73 HB UserARIZONA73 HB UserARIZONA73 HB UserARIZONA73 HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

Phil58,

I understand how you must feel when you said that this is a tough board, especially when three or more people are ganging up on you. Heck, even Joe Louis would have been overwhelmed if three guys ganged up on him in the ring. But whether you are an advocate of statins or not, the fact is that these drugs are still only treating a symptom, and do not address the root cause of atherosclerosis. They're little more than a Band-Aid treatment, the effects of which may be rather minimal at best. Progress will only be made if and when we finally address the root cause of the disease. Otherwise, we're going to be stuck on a path which leads virtually nowhere, except the prescribing of more and more drugs. I've heard that there are two things in life that people should not argue about: politics and religion. Well, maybe we should also add statins to that list, because inevitably the arguements on both sides end up going nowhere.

 
Old 10-01-2004, 03:52 PM   #15
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rahod HB User
Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARIZONA73
Phil58,

I understand how you must feel when you said that this is a tough board, especially when three or more people are ganging up on you. Heck, even Joe Louis would have been overwhelmed if three guys ganged up on him in the ring.
Now Now....no one is "ganging up" on anyone here. But Phil...or anyone else for that matter...better be prepared for a lively "debate", especially when he decides to take on established scientific eveidence to the contrary.. I also find it *interesting* that he has refused to share his cholesterol results with the rest of us...what is he trying to hide?

 
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