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    Old 08-11-2004, 07:39 PM   #16
    ARIZONA73
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    Rahod,

    I'm sorry, but for some reason I am unable to view this information. But you may be correct, since cholesterol levels do tend to rise with age, which is a risk factor, as professor Kauffman correctly pointed out. But he also points out that once you remove age as a risk factor, there is almost no correlation. But I suppose you can manipulate statistics, and come to practically any conclusion you desire. Now, exactly how significant that difference may be is probably open for debate. But by suggesting that TC and LDL is more strongly correlated with an increased risk of heart disease, without considering other variables, is doing the public a great disservice. In fact, when they came out with these new guidelines, 6 of the 9 panelists had strong financial ties to the pharmaceutical drug companies. But according to a Star-Ledger article, other experts in European countries who reviewed the same information came to different conclusions. So there is, in fact, some question about these new guidelines as well. Personally, I believe that this is all profit motivation on the part of the drug companies.

     
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    Old 08-11-2004, 08:01 PM   #17
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rahod
    ....Just look at the studies and data in the article I just refered to. If you choose to ignore that data , so be it.
    I see that article you refered to references the PROSPER study as one of its basis studies. Have you looked at the data from this study rather than just the glossed over conclusions? I've read it and am appalled at the conclusions drawn. While the participants that were on the statin treatment did have fewer deaths from heart disease than the controls on a placebo by a small margin, the statin users had more stroke deaths and significantly more cancer deaths. In the end, there was approximately the same number of deaths in both groups. The study conclusions barely even mentioned the fact that the statin users had a higher incidence of stroke and cancer death and the fact that total mortality was not measurably better in the statin group.
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    The tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T H Huxley

     
    Old 08-11-2004, 08:07 PM   #18
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    Thanks Arizonia, again I agree with you completely. I find it alarming when reading some of the tests results, that I have to question the calibur of the people preforming them. Some examples are: One test reported on how lowering cholesterol reduced heart attack and strokes; however, in the footnotes the results on the women in the study were not included because there was no statistical difference. Another test showed that lowering cholesterol reduced heart attack and heart disease; however, in the test they gave the participants (on the cholesterol medication, and not the placebo) anti inflammatory and anti aggregation medication. Even I know better than to add extra variables into test. Also it is known that the statin drugs by chemistry not only lower cholesterol, but have an anti-inflammatory, and platelet anti-aggression component. This is all a part of the statin. It cannot be pulled apart to see which one is of benefit. Another cholesterol test recently that was to run until 2005 was stopped early. The reason was that the test goals were obtained, so there was not reason to continue the test. (You might remember that thalidomide also had acchieved the results that were their goals). It is as if they are almost afraid to continue the test for fear that an unwelcome result would appear. Although I will read any test results, I would tend to discount any tests that are subsidized by pharmaceutical companies. When you read about cholesterol medication tests, don't just read the conclusion, read the report and especially the footnotes. One test we should watch closely is the NCSD test on statin drugs. It is funded by partly through grants from the NIH. This test has no connection to any pharmaceutical company.

    Last edited by NHone; 08-11-2004 at 08:13 PM.

     
    Old 08-12-2004, 06:09 PM   #19
    rahod
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by arkie6
    I see that article you refered to references the PROSPER study as one of its basis studies. Have you looked at the data from this study rather than just the glossed over conclusions? I've read it and am appalled at the conclusions drawn. While the participants that were on the statin treatment did have fewer deaths from heart disease than the controls on a placebo by a small margin, the statin users had more stroke deaths and significantly more cancer deaths. In the end, there was approximately the same number of deaths in both groups. The study conclusions barely even mentioned the fact that the statin users had a higher incidence of stroke and cancer death and the fact that total mortality was not measurably better in the statin group.
    This what the article said with reference to PROSPER :

    1)" ...although PROSPER had fewer older persons with established CVD, and they were treated for a shorter time than HPS, a strong trend toward reduction in CHD was noted. The results of HPS and PROSPER, taken together with the findings of other statin trials, provide a strong justification for intensive LDL lowering therapy in older persons with established CVD".

    2)"...the results of both PROSPER and ASCOT support the efficacy of statin therapy in older, high risk patients without established CVD".

    Please post the relavent info in the PROSPER study that seems to show significant increase in stroke deaths and cancer with statins in older people. That would be useful.

     
    Old 08-14-2004, 09:02 AM   #20
    ARIZONA73
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    I was just reading about the PROSPER trial on Medscape. In elderly people taking pravastatin, there was in fact a 25% higher incidence of new cases of cancer. Incredibly, the investigators were not particularly concerned about the increased incidence of cancer. In fact, they even went so far as to say that the cancer must have started to develop in these patients prior to the study. Yeah, right. And what about all the animal studies which clearly demonstrated the cancer-causing effects of these drugs? I suppose the animals all started to develop cancer prior to the studies as well. I wonder what their conclusions would have been if there was instead a 25% lower incidence of new cases of cancer. In that case, it would probably become front page news.

     
    Old 08-17-2004, 11:07 AM   #21
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    do you know the latency of cancer arizona? and why do you lump cancer cases altogether - that's not biologically plausible

    the fact is that total mortality is reduced in nearly all statin trials - and increased cancer cases is present in only a small number of statin trials. anyone who knows how to interpret biomedical research would be able to tell you what that means

     
    Old 08-17-2004, 04:00 PM   #22
    ARIZONA73
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    Well, I didn't just make this stuff up. I got this information about the PROSPER trial from Medscape. So, I'm simply stating factual information. There was, in fact, a 25% increase in cancer cases among those who were receiving pravastatin. I don't think that number can be considered statistically insignificant. If the pravastatin did not in any way trigger the higher incidence of cancer cases, then the statistical difference between the control group versus the pravastatin group should not have been that far apart. But I'll bet that if it were the other way around, and there were 25% less cases of cancer among the pravastatin group, then they no doubt would have made a big deal about it.

    As far as overall mortality, in the long running Coronary Drug Project, an extensive evaluation of cholesterol-lowering drugs demonstrated that niacin was the only cholesterol-lowering agent to actually reduce overall mortality.

    Last edited by ARIZONA73; 08-17-2004 at 04:01 PM.

     
    Old 08-18-2004, 02:12 AM   #23
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    Arizona - you have got some lousy sources of information.

    for example re niacin being only cholesterol-lowering agent to reduce mortality - just not true. you need to read all the studies not just the ones that suit you

    you make inappropriate comments about statistical significance. you obviously don't know the pitfalls of multiple hypothesis testing.

    you need to learn a lot more about the interpretation of biomedical research

     
    Old 08-18-2004, 12:34 PM   #24
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    That increase could be statistically insignificant, depends on how much noise is in the data, sample size, confounding factors, unaccounted for lurking variables etc a lot of things.

    I don't want to sound like I am bashing the study (or upholding it) Arizona, but just to to give a very simple example, I could show that as the number of churches in a city increases, alcoholism increases as well. Thus church causes alcholism. Of course this sounds silly, and what is being forgotten is larger cities have more churches, larger populations, and generally higher rates of social problems. Correlation does not mean causaulity. Here we are confounding(or confusing) church and population for the increase in alcholism.

    It's easy for the statistics to be misleading, either on purpose or unintentionally, a lot of experimental designs are done incorrectly for a variety of reasons even if the researcher has the best intents. My final exam in my doctoral level experimental design class was largely an excercise showing some of the pitfalls of certain experiments, and largely to make us more cautious when we do our own experiements.

    Last edited by alptraum; 08-18-2004 at 12:40 PM.

     
    Old 09-14-2004, 06:40 PM   #25
    rahod
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by StJoes
    I know I'm not supposed to believe everything I read and hear and see, etc etc etc, but this article on the correlation between high cholesterol and longevity compelled me to share this with you.

    There's an article "The benefits of high cholesterol." It's written by an Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PHD.

    [ removed ]

    Any thoughts or comments would be helpful, especially considering I am neither a qualified GP nor even an authority on the subject of cholesterol.

    Thank you.
    I found this tidbit on his book:

    ....even Dr. Uffe Ravnskov in "The Cholesterol Myths"
    (page
    207) acknowledges the cardiological benefits of statins. The difference
    between Dr. Ravnskov and the rest of main stream doctors is the cause
    of
    these benefits. Main stream medicine attributes these benefits to the
    cholesterol lowering properties of the statins, Dr. Ravnskov believes
    the
    benefits are "in spite of" the lowering of the cholesterol (bad side
    effect of the statins).

    >>>Of course I firmly disagree with the notion that high cholesterol is beneficial..let alone benign

    Last edited by rahod; 09-14-2004 at 07:00 PM.

     
    Old 09-16-2004, 09:36 AM   #26
    jcorn59483
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    I have personal experience with family members who have exceedingly high cholesterol and extremely long lives. In my mother;s family, cholesterol ranges from 300 to well above 400 and my mother is 90. She has never taken cholesterol meds, had x-rays which indicated her arteries are clear (at 80) and had a history of long-term smoking (she quit in her 50's). She is now over 90 and feels great.
    There is a similar pattern in other members of her family. Her mother lived to 100, her sister is near 90. They all fear docs and meds and so none are on cholesterol meds.
    I, however, am on Crestor, since my father's side of the family has both high cholesterol and a history of heart problems (althnough they don't appear till after 60). His sister is near 90 but my father died of heart disease in his 80's. I'm not willing to rolll the dice so I'm taking measures to lower my cholesterol (over 300 before Crestor).

     
    Old 09-16-2004, 09:45 AM   #27
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    Re: The Benefits of High Cholesterol?

    One thing no one here seems to have mentioned: focusing on high cholesterol and ignoring other factors is like looking at ALL trees and saying they are ALL oak trees (bad analogy,perhaps, but bear with me).
    You can't look at cholesterol without looking at the WHOLE person. If a person is thin, exercises regularly, has a family history of little to no heart disease, never smoked, has high levels of good cholesterol etc...maybe that person can have high cholesterol and little risk of heart disease. My previous post was about one side of my family, where they never take meds, never exercise, eat what they want and never have heart disease - well, until their hearts stop at 90 or 100 (and the cause of death is never heart disease).
    On the other hand, you have someone like Clintion, with a clear history of family heart disease, ate junk food, had high cholesterol, etc. When he finally started exercising and eating right, it was too late. He ended up needing heart surgery. He stopped taking his cholesterol meds, too.
    In other words, cholesterol, high or low, is only one part of a total picture. Focusing on the "benefits" of high cholesterol really is like looking at a forest and missing the different kinds of trees in it. They are all different. Generalizing is dangerous.

     
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