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    Old 12-31-2003, 06:35 AM   #31
    arkie6
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    I found another interesting article on this subject. Here is the link:

    [url]http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/413887[/url]

    It says in part:

    "Some of possible side effects of the statins and cholesterol lowering reported in the literature include an increase risk of cancer,[1,2] an increase in death from suicide,[3,4] depression,[3] accidental and violent death,[4] and cognitive difficulties.[5]"

    "Muldoon and colleagues[4] comprehensively evaluated 6 large primary prevention trials in which participants received treatment with statins. They concluded that cholesterol-lowering regimes (combining medications, diet, and exercise) did little to change total mortality. They acknowledged that the prevention regimes lowered the mortality from coronary heart disease, but at the same time demonstrated that there was increased mortality from other causes. These authors cumulatively used 6 clinical trials, 24,847 participants, and 1147 deaths to support their argument."

    References are listed at the end of the article.
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    Old 12-31-2003, 07:03 AM   #32
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by arkie6
    I agree with that. The concern I have is that statins might increase the risk of death from cancer or whatever or just reduce the quality of ones life. These potential new risks of death or injury have to be balanced with the potential benefit that statins provide regarding CHD.

    And the concern that statins may increase the risk of cancer is not mine alone. Read this link (A review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1996):
    No doubt cancer is always a question. Speculation is reasonable. However, "the strongest evidence, in terms of methodological rigor, number of patients and duration of follow-up, comes from large, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. A meta-analysis of five trials studied 30,817 patients treated for 5 years, and found no association between the use of statins and either fatal or non-fatal cancers (LM Bjerre, J LeLorier. Do statins cause cancer? A meta-analysis of large randomized clinical trials. Am J Med 2001 110: 716-23.)

    Also solid research out there showing statins reduce certain cancers such as pancreatic.

    This will continue to be a watched concern. But for now, there is no human evidence of statin unduced cancers.

     
    Old 12-31-2003, 08:22 AM   #33
    phja
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    zip2play,
    i hope your angio goes well...think positive! again if you don't mind me asking....how old are you? what cholesterol med are you on and for how long? what was your cholesterol levels before starting it?no i'm not writing a book but i have a VERY bad family history ...2 sisters (ages47,51)heart attacks)brother(39, died), and dad had 6 heart attacks starting at 41 and bypass...died at 61. well they all were heavy smokers but also had high cholesterol...i have high cholesterol(260, ratio 3.6) but never smoked. i'm hoping its the smoking.some were fat , 1 very thin ,godd ratios, bad ratios...its very frustrating. well any way thats why i'm asking questions. thanks

     
    Old 12-31-2003, 08:59 AM   #34
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by phja
    zip2play,
    i hope your angio goes well...think positive! again if you don't mind me asking....how old are you? what cholesterol med are you on and for how long? what was your cholesterol levels before starting it?no i'm not writing a book but i have a VERY bad family history ...2 sisters (ages47,51)heart attacks)brother(39, died), and dad had 6 heart attacks starting at 41 and bypass...died at 61. well they all were heavy smokers but also had high cholesterol...i have high cholesterol(260, ratio 3.6) but never smoked. i'm hoping its the smoking.some were fat , 1 very thin ,godd ratios, bad ratios...its very frustrating. well any way thats why i'm asking questions. thanks
    phja, you may have already answered this in previous posts, but have you ever had an angiography or stress PET scan to determine if you have any coronary stenosis?

     
    Old 12-31-2003, 09:38 AM   #35
    phja
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    i've had 3 stess tests(all nuclear)...no pet and no angio. i did have a ultra fast ct scan, calcium score of 136. i'm 42 female,high chlesterol, non-smoker, 50 lbs overweight, good pressure. he said some test that measures ldl size was good. my ldl is 175. thats more than you asked but what the hell.

     
    Old 01-01-2004, 07:14 AM   #36
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    phja,

    Again, I'm sorry about being snotty on the other post....
    Thanks for your assurance on the angio on Monday (last night I was ready to pack it in and cancel the procedure...this morning, I'll go through with it but it will take some HEAVY valium to get me through the weekend)

    Let's just say I'm not old enought to collect Social Security...LOL
    Cholesteol history....decades of drift from 230ish to 260ish....Panic came with a 263 and an HDL or 29...a lovely ratio of 9!
    Started Lipitor 20 mg 4 years ago and saw a 100 point drop to 163 and a modest increase of HDL to 35...
    Not good enough. I added fish oil and lecithin and took my HDL to 58!
    So now I have an LDL in the 90's and the HDL of 58....

    I went on Atkins religiously and overscrupulously and lost 33 lbs....chest pains and HBP disappeared...diet seemed to have no further effect on my blood lipids.
    I went off diet, started gaining again...BP went up and BP meds raised the weight faster.....
    Back to old weight...and chest burn! (230#...up 8 pounds of edema in 10 days from Norvasc and attenolol)

    My mom died a long slow death from progressive cardiac artery blockages.....she dutifully ate her margerine and skim milk ....Had she lived one more year, she'd have been able to take a statin and maybe I'd still have my good buddy!

    Last edited by zip2play; 01-01-2004 at 07:17 AM.

     
    Old 01-01-2004, 07:41 AM   #37
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    zip2play,


    I'm curious as to why you did not continue with the Atkins Diet. Obviously you benefited from it in terms of weight loss, no chest discomfort, and lower blood pressure.

     
    Old 01-01-2004, 09:13 AM   #38
    phja
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    zip2play,
    i'm sorry your mom suffered so....i see it ih my own family. my dad ate all that margarine (that the aha recommended)also. he also was not on a statin(30-40 years ago), my sis who has had 2 heart attacks, one major,and 2 stents has been on stains since her attacks 12 years ago...she now has pulmonary disease, glaucoma, diabetes, and an aortic aneurysm. shes on many meds so it could be any one that keeps adding to her problems. shes 59. all i'm saying is i don't know anyone who has had severe problems from other meds but know 2 people personally that have had problems with the statins. i think some people like my sis is stuck between a rock and hard place about taking the meds but i have a problems with them being recommended to practically everyone. do you agree most . Did your mom smoke? how many people do you know that have had heart attacks and either had high cholesterol or smoked. all the ones i know had both so its hard for me to tell. i'm the only one in the family who doesn't smoke but has high cholesterol so if i drop we'll know which is worse. have you had an angiogram before? when are you having it ?
    hey...happy new year!

     
    Old 01-01-2004, 05:12 PM   #39
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zip2play
    phja,
    Thanks for your assurance on the angio on Monday (last night I was ready to pack it in and cancel the procedure...this morning, I'll go through with it but it will take some HEAVY valium to get me through the weekend)
    zip, do not concern yourself over the angio. It is a snap. The mildest of discomforts. Certainly less than a visit to the dentist. It is surprisingly quick. You will feel very little. It is the gold standard, so you want to get it done and it will reassure you when it is over. All procedures have potential risks, but angio risks are really very low.

    Go into it happy, as it is a very comforting and reassuring procedure. Doesn't really matter what you find out. The bottom line is knowledge is power. Right now you have no knowledge. After the procedure you will be very knowledgeable.

    Don't sweat it. It will go fine. I can be a very anxious person. I have had the procedure a few times. After the first, I realized there was little need for undue worry.

     
    Old 01-01-2004, 11:14 PM   #40
    patric46
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    good luck zip......patric

     
    Old 01-02-2004, 05:57 AM   #41
    zip2play
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    Thanks for your wishes patric.

    And MANY thanks pcovers for reassuring me...it's made my day brighter by many lumens!

    ARIZONA...
    I learned to DESPISE the food choices I had to make with Atkins. A 5 month plateau was almost enough to cause jettisoning it but I then upped carbs a lot and judiciously counted every calorie and continued losing too my goal (197# at a muscular 6'2")
    I needed 2200 to continue losing and 2500 to maintain and I just kept slipping and sliding...with 3000 calorie days.

    But the strict Atkins without a grain of rice or a strand of pasta or a piece of fruit or a sip of mlk was UNBEARABLE aftter a year. One more friggen egg and I'd have started cackling!
    (And always lurking was the thought of damage to my coronary arteries)....the last straw was Atkins (almost covered up) heart failure from years of cardiomyopathy. Then falling over dead exactly one year later (conveniently dead on the ice??).
    I never swallowed all the BS from Atkins Nutritionals about some mysterious virus he probably caught (sometimes they said bacteria.)
    Pile it all together and for me it will be weight back down with a balanced 2000 calorie diet once this angio is behind me! So help me Hanna Barbera!

     
    Old 01-03-2004, 05:06 PM   #42
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    [QUOTE=pcovers]The following quote is fromcovers

    "They only demonstrate that in tens of thousands involved in the studies, there is significant reduction in heart attack and death."

    Uh, I hate to bust your bubble pcovers, but I wrote the National Institute of Health about how they were getting the high percentages in these studies, when the data clearly showed the difference in say death rate, in taking a statin and not taking a statin was less than 1 percent. I got a reply from a supervisor with the National Cholesterol Education Program. She replied that I was right, but they use a "Cox mathematical model" to report the percentages, and the NIH does not do the study, they just report it. Ok, you mention the WOSCOPS study. I happen to have the figures on that and other studies. I like this one because it is of healthy people with high cholesterol, and the study is used to show they benefit from a statin drug. There were 3302 people in the study that were treated with pravastatin, and in 4.4 years they had 106 deaths from all causes. (you can't fudge the deaths, it is a good solid figure). This is 3.2 percent of the group. There were 3293 people in the study that were not treated, and in 4.4 years they had 135 deaths. This is 4.1 percent of the group. The actual decrease in dying was .9 of one percent! This is in 4.4 years! A cox model uses these figures and says it is 22 percent! Every study, every category, uses this model. It gives a distorted result. Articles you read say 22 percent, not .9. They don't explain that they used a cox model. So all your talk about end results does not fly. Joe

     
    Old 01-04-2004, 08:22 AM   #43
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    [QUOTE=pcolajoe]
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pcovers
    The following quote is fromcovers

    "They only demonstrate that in tens of thousands involved in the studies, there is significant reduction in heart attack and death."

    Uh, I hate to bust your bubble pcovers, but I wrote the National Institute of Health about how they were getting the high percentages in these studies, when the data clearly showed the difference in say death rate, in taking a statin and not taking a statin was less than 1 percent. I got a reply from a supervisor with the National Cholesterol Education Program. She replied that I was right, but they use a "Cox mathematical model" to report the percentages, and the NIH does not do the study, they just report it. Ok, you mention the WOSCOPS study. I happen to have the figures on that and other studies. I like this one because it is of healthy people with high cholesterol, and the study is used to show they benefit from a statin drug. There were 3302 people in the study that were treated with pravastatin, and in 4.4 years they had 106 deaths from all causes. (you can't fudge the deaths, it is a good solid figure). This is 3.2 percent of the group. There were 3293 people in the study that were not treated, and in 4.4 years they had 135 deaths. This is 4.1 percent of the group. The actual decrease in dying was .9 of one percent! This is in 4.4 years! A cox model uses these figures and says it is 22 percent! Every study, every category, uses this model. It gives a distorted result. Articles you read say 22 percent, not .9. They don't explain that they used a cox model. So all your talk about end results does not fly. Joe
    It is fascinating that you can present data, assess the data, and draw conclusions from the data in such an economical fashion. Those trained researchers and statisticians could learn a thing or two from your unique statistical modeling protocol. I hope you shared your unique methods with your stats professor.

    In all seriousness, there is no busted bubble here and no smoking gun. Interpretation of data is not so simple as you would like to present. The Cox Model is not some evil or sneaky equation thought up by the drug companies to fool unsuspecting lay persons into believing an otherwise untruth. The Cox Model is a standard statistical model used in all types of studies looking at survival. It is a norm, not an exception. I would recommend anyone interested do a search on "What is a Cox Model" and read the very informative and easy to read commentary on its purpose, application, and interpretation.

    One might also want to do a search on, "Cox and Gompertz Regression Models: An assessment with empirical estimates". It really is a well prepared research paper on a comparison of these two statistical models.

    You see, it requires the utilization of a statistical modeling methodology in order to support the conclusions presented in the assessment of the data. Presenting the data and conclusion as you have would be completely and universally dismissed by any researcher or peer review group.

    Models, such as Cox, are not used by researchers and statisticians simply because corporations are paying them to muddy the waters. They are used because they are the norms - the standards - necessary tools of the trade of those that collect and assess empirical data.

    Whether or not every statin study used the Cox model has not been definitively established. Regardless, if they did, one can rest assured that the results have been derived from a statistical modeling algorithm that is among the accepted norms.

    Last edited by pcovers; 01-04-2004 at 08:29 AM.

     
    Old 01-04-2004, 09:48 AM   #44
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    [QUOTE=pcovers]It is fascinating that you can present data, assess the data, and draw conclusions from the data in such an economical fashion. Those trained researchers and statisticians could learn a thing or two from your unique statistical modeling protocol. I hope you shared your unique methods with your stats professor.

    It is just grade school math. Anyone can get the figures and divide themselves, and I encourage everyone to do this. I discovered it over 20 years ago, when a study on the danger of high cholesterol showed only a numerical difference of a just few people having heart problems, but it reported this high percentage on increased risk. A healthy person has to ask themselves if they want to take a statin for the rest of their lives, when the study shows only a few extra people dieing in over 4 years, out of over 3000 people in the untreated group. A difference of 9 tenths in the two groups, is not mathematically significant. What do you do by the way, that you are up on the Cox model? I am just a layman. I think if we are going to make progress in the treatment of heart disease, we need to present accurate data that is not misleading. Joe

     
    Old 01-04-2004, 01:12 PM   #45
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    Re: Statins: Awfully compelling evidence...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pcolajoe
    It is just grade school math. Anyone can get the figures and divide themselves, and I encourage everyone to do this...What do you do by the way, that you are up on the Cox model? I am just a layman. I think if we are going to make progress in the treatment of heart disease, we need to present accurate data that is not misleading. Joe
    Part of the problem with your position is that it is, in fact, not grade school math. You ask what I do. I can tell you that I have no interest in any company that has any dogs in the fight of drugs or medicine. I have a doctorate in a completely unrelated field. However, my doctoral studies required a dissertation that used a very common protocol for data collection, assessment, and conclusions. Statistical models, such as the Cox model, are not options or tools of manipulations. They are necessary if one expects to defend the conclusions drawn by their assessment of the collected data.

    I understand why one might think it is simple math, but it is no where near "simple math". Part of any defensible research is the use of a comprehensively accepted statistical modeling protocol. If there were no model used, the conclusions would be unspported. This has absolutely nothing to do with drugs or pharmaceutical companies or "big money", as statistical models are used on all types of research. Cox is a standard model for a reason.

     
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