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    Old 10-01-2004, 04:03 PM   #16
    ty123
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    Arizona, the guy came in and denied the very issue the board is about, contradicted all medical authority, promoted a diet unrelated to the issue and then told us the board was tough.

    The board OUGHT to be that tough.

     
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    Old 10-01-2004, 04:11 PM   #17
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    "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.

    Actually statins DO treat the root cause in the case of those like myself who have a genetic problem where we have a reduced number of cholesterol receptors. With respect to the general population, the issue is more debatable since diet could resolve most issues.

     
    Old 10-01-2004, 05:55 PM   #18
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    Phil58 pretty much echoed what others with differing viewpoints have been saying, even many researchers and others in the medical profession, even though they may still be in the minority, and not accepted by mainstream medicine. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they're dead wrong, or that they simply should be dismissed as quacks. I think that people should hear both sides, examine all the pros and cons, and make up their own minds about these drugs. And you know of course that other experts in other countries have come to different conclusions about these new guidelines as well. And I for one do not believe all the hype about these drugs. I think their purported benefits are largely exaggerated, and their side-effects are largely downplayed and minimized. And they are no more of an answer to heart disease than insulin is the answer to diabetes.

     
    Old 10-01-2004, 06:14 PM   #19
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    Phil's initial thesis was that High Cholesterol may not even be a problem.

    Isn't the point of the board to address the issue of high cholesterol? Is that really too high a standard for discussion here?

    As for quacks, I do consider the Atkins diet a fad, and as such it is fashionable rather than scientific. Now, opinions here don't have to be scientific, but if they aren't you should expect to have them challenged.

    I wouldn't be taking statins or any other medicine if I didn't feel I needed it, but to say that statins shouldn't be taken by anyone is the medical equivalent of claiming you've been abducted by aliens.

     
    Old 10-01-2004, 08:06 PM   #20
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    It's true that high cholesterol may not be the root cause of heart disease. In fact, it probably isn't, since many people with high cholesterol live to ripe old ages. How does medical science explain that? But if you feel that statins are in your best interest, given your particular condition, then feel free to take them. I have no problem with this choice if the person truly feels that it is in their best interest. I am in no position to tell a person what to do or what not to do when it comes to their health. I am simply offering my opinion about a drug which I have serious reservations about when it is aggressively marketed to such a large segment of the population.

     
    Old 10-01-2004, 08:27 PM   #21
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    "many people with high cholesterol live to ripe old ages."

    And many more don't.

     
    Old 10-01-2004, 09:05 PM   #22
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    "High Cholesterol" isn't a disease or even a "condition.". It is simply a risk factor along with many other known risk factors for the development of CAD/CVD. It is quite clear that since approx. 50%-70% of people who experience their first (and usually their last) "heart attack" do not have "high cholesterol" that there must be other risk factors which need to be addressed. It should be fairly obvious that lowering lipid levels through drug therapy does not address these other risk factors.

    I believe I am fortunate that I did not fill my prescription for Lipitor several years ago and instead I simply lost weight, reduced and/or eliminated some carbohydrates, and added more fat to my diet. "High Cholesterol" isn't an acute illness which requires immediate medical intervention with powerful drugs that interfere with normal organ function and can have serious side effects.

    It is truly sad to hear "quack" comments be made about physicians like Dr. Mercola and Dr. Atkins (and others) that believe in a different treatment modality for "high cholesterol" then just spending 30 seconds writing a scrip for Lipitor or other statin. You are not going to keel over and drop dead immediately by exploring alternative treatments to statin drug therapy.

    If weight loss, diet, nutritional supplements and exercise do not achieve an improvement in lipid levels then additional drug therapy should be considered.

    This is a board where many new people come to to be educated about "high cholesterol" and they need to be exposed to all the various treatment modalities and not just statin or other drug therapies. Then it is up to them to decide what they should do. BTW, it is not your doctor's decision to decide what treatment (if any) you should pursue. If you decide on pursuing some treatment that your doctor doesn't agree with or support it's time to find another doctor.

    Last edited by ZippyDawg; 10-01-2004 at 09:08 PM.

     
    Old 10-01-2004, 10:33 PM   #23
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ty123
    Arizona, the guy came in and denied the very issue the board is about, contradicted all medical authority, promoted a diet unrelated to the issue and then told us the board was tough.

    The board OUGHT to be that tough.
    You got that right. I will jump on anyone who peddles this *conspiracy crap*....because that's just what it all boils down to isn't it? Yeah..all these Dr's are like the CIGARETTE Companies trying to HOOK US on statins

     
    Old 10-02-2004, 05:34 AM   #24
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    Zippy Dawg,

    Atkins ate high fat for 30 years and fell over with a stopped heart after years of worsening cardiomyopathy...this was an admitted fact BY HIM.
    He was resuscitated and lived exactly a year and fell over DEAD on the ice never to be awaken again- in spite of a several days on a respirator. Coincidentally, 1 years is pretty much the expected OUTSIDE LIMIT of survivability AFTER a heart stoppage event caused by cardiomyopathy.
    Had he NOT been resuscitated the first time the story would have been he took a terrible fall from his desk chair caused by too thick a RUG!

    So yes, anyone touting Atkins' claims of a heart healthy diet are quoting the claims of a rich eminent QUACK, second only to Daffy Duck!
    If your doctor devotes more time to him than one sentence, he's wasting your time.

    Remember, when you hear that "voice crying in the wilderness" check first if it's coming from a wide flat beak before blindly following it on "THE WAY!"

    Last edited by zip2play; 10-02-2004 at 05:37 AM.

     
    Old 10-02-2004, 05:35 AM   #25
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    Wow, I go back to life for a couple of hours and come back to a full fledged debate, which is what is needed. Statins are a very dangerous drug, and I'm sure some people benefit from them, but they are being handed out like candy at Halloween.

    As the title of the thread states, they are using bad statistics. In the HPS they stated in the text a 25% improvement. Unfortunately that 25% is a bogus mis use of statistics. I've read, but have not seen the raw data on the other studies and they are using the same bad misleading use of statistics, so throwing bad information is misleading.

    Lets make up a drug trial result

    10,000 patients on new kewl life extending pill
    10,000 patents on equally kewl placebo
    At the end of the trial 1 on the pill died, 2 on the placebo died. According to my drug trials, using DRUG COMPANY STATISTICAL METHOD, I had a 100% improvement in mortality rate. We all know that's BS, so why do we accept that data from the drug companies on statins.

    I've tried to read as much information as I could find, and I do appreciate the AHA article. There was some good information in there. I'm not accepting my own Md's advice and seriously considering looking for another one. My long time Md, who I trusted explicitly, retired and I haven't been able to find another one who practices anywhere near the way he did.

    My own numbers are currently misplaced, but from memory,
    Cholesterol 230
    HDL 70 ish
    LDL don't remember, but high
    TC 200+

    Why I appreciate the article, was the good information on the ratio on the other risk factors, other then cholesterol. As stated in a couple of posts, 1/2 the people with heart attacks have normal cholesterol. If cholesterol is the final answer, then cholesterol lowering medication ought to improve the risk of heart attack more then 1.5%. Statins do an excellent job reducing cholesterol, sometimes too much so. Why is Dr. Golombs side affect study being rejected so quickly, where she's showing 15% of the people taking statins are suffering cognitive issues? A small percentage of people are actually becoming violent, a huge number of people are suffering muscle damage and pains. Lipitor seems to be the worst of the bunch, but they all are causing problems. According to Dr. Golomb, patients who use statins for two or more years are at a four to fourteen fold increased risk of developing idiopathic polyneuropathy compared to controls. How about Cardiologist Peter Langsjoen study of 2o patients with normal heart function. After six months on a low dose of 20 mg Lipitor per day, two thirds of the patients had abvomalities in the heart filling stage. How about the multiple studies of CoQ10 depletion from taking statins. Without CoQ10, cell's mitochondria are inhibited from producing energy, which is where the muscle pains come from. And while I don't have a medical degree, isn't the heart kind of an important muscle. Side note, I asked my dad when he was in the hospital, why he hadn't exercised more, he said because it hurt, which is a common complaint. Some 90% of patients in Dr. Golombs study have muscle pains. How about the increased cancer risk due to statins? Several studies have shown an increased risk. In two of the studies, EXCEL and FACAPT/TexCAPS, more deaths occured in the treatment group compared to control group. ALLHAT showed mortality of the treatment group and controls after three or six years was identical. PROSPER, showed identical total mortality and total serious adverse events between treatment and placebo, and the treatment group had increased cancer. J-LIT no correlation between lowered LDL and death rate of five years. Meta-Analysis(2003) 65% of those on treatment v 45 % on controls experienced an adverse even. YADA, YADA, YADA.

    Bottom line the statins have very little impact on life expectency, and/or chance of heart attack. Even Lipitor's ad states is hasn't been shown to prevent heart disease. If it doesn't affect my risk of heart disease, or my chance of dying, why take it? If 1/2 the people that have a heart attack have "normal" cholesterol, then how can we say that is "the" factor. If a large percentage of the medical community is moving away from statins, why is it still being prescribed, or even worse being suggested to be added to the water supply? Google Lipitor problems, are statins safe, etc. The results are eye opening.

    Phil

     
    Old 10-02-2004, 05:53 AM   #26
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    Phil58,

    I agree with you. You've made some very good points. And I know you didn't just make all this up, because I also heard much of what you did. But according to Rahod, they are all part of some grand conspiracy.

     
    Old 10-02-2004, 06:22 AM   #27
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    MRC/BHF Heart Protection Study of cholesterol lowering with simvastatin in 20,536 high-risk individuals: a randomised placebo-controlled trial.

    Heart Protection Study Collaborative Group.

    BACKGROUND: Throughout the usual LDL cholesterol range in Western populations, lower blood concentrations are associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk. In such populations, therefore, reducing LDL cholesterol may reduce the development of vascular disease, largely irrespective of initial cholesterol concentrations. METHODS: 20,536 UK adults (aged 40-80 years) with coronary disease, other occlusive arterial disease, or diabetes were randomly allocated to receive 40 mg simvastatin daily (average compliance: 85%) or matching placebo (average non-study statin use: 17%). Analyses are of the first occurrence of particular events, and compare all simvastatin-allocated versus all placebo-allocated participants. These "intention-to-treat" comparisons assess the effects of about two-thirds (85% minus 17%) taking a statin during the scheduled 5-year treatment period, which yielded an average difference in LDL cholesterol of 1.0 mmol/L (about two-thirds of the effect of actual use of 40 mg simvastatin daily). Primary outcomes were mortality (for overall analyses) and fatal or non-fatal vascular events (for subcategory analyses), with subsidiary assessments of cancer and of other major morbidity. FINDINGS: All-cause mortality was significantly reduced (1328 [12.9%] deaths among 10,269 allocated simvastatin versus 1507 [14.7%] among 10,267 allocated placebo; p=0.0003), due to a highly significant 18% (SE 5) proportional reduction in the coronary death rate (587 [5.7%] vs 707 [6.9%]; p=0.0005), a marginally significant reduction in other vascular deaths (194 [1.9%] vs 230 [2.2%]; p=0.07), and a non-significant reduction in non-vascular deaths (547 [5.3%] vs 570 [5.6%]; p=0.4). There were highly significant reductions of about one-quarter in the first event rate for non-fatal myocardial infarction or coronary death (898 [8.7%] vs 1212 [11.8%]; p<0.0001), for non-fatal or fatal stroke (444 [4.3%] vs 585 [5.7%]; p<0.0001), and for coronary or non-coronary revascularisation (939 [9.1%] vs 1205 [11.7%]; p<0.0001). For the first occurrence of any of these major vascular events, there was a definite 24% (SE 3; 95% CI 19-28) reduction in the event rate (2033 [19.8%] vs 2585 [25.2%] affected individuals; p<0.0001). During the first year the reduction in major vascular events was not significant, but subsequently it was highly significant during each separate year. The proportional reduction in the event rate was similar (and significant) in each subcategory of participant studied, including: those without diagnosed coronary disease who had cerebrovascular disease, or had peripheral artery disease, or had diabetes; men and, separately, women; those aged either under or over 70 years at entry; and--most notably--even those who presented with LDL cholesterol below 3.0 mmol/L (116 mg/dL), or total cholesterol below 5.0 mmol/L (193 mg/dL). The benefits of simvastatin were additional to those of other cardioprotective treatments. The annual excess risk of myopathy with this regimen was about 0.01%. There were no significant adverse effects on cancer incidence or on hospitalisation for any other non-vascular cause. INTERPRETATION: Adding simvastatin to existing treatments safely produces substantial additional benefits for a wide range of high-risk patients, irrespective of their initial cholesterol concentrations. Allocation to 40 mg simvastatin daily reduced the rates of myocardial infarction, of stroke, and of revascularisation by about one-quarter. After making allowance for non-compliance, actual use of this regimen would probably reduce these rates by about one-third. Hence, among the many types of high-risk individual studied, 5 years of simvastatin would prevent about 70-100 people per 1000 from suffering at least one of these major vascular events (and longer treatment should produce further benefit). The size of the 5-year benefit depends chiefly on such individuals' overall risk of major vascular events, rather than on their blood lipid concentrations alone.

    And those results were obtained during 5 years...year after year into the future the gap will widen and widen and widen between the treated and untreated.

     
    Old 10-02-2004, 06:25 AM   #28
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zip2play
    Zippy Dawg,

    Atkins ate high fat for 30 years and fell over with a stopped heart after years of worsening cardiomyopathy...this was an admitted fact BY HIM.
    He was resuscitated and lived exactly a year and fell over DEAD on the ice never to be awaken again- in spite of a several days on a respirator. Coincidentally, 1 years is pretty much the expected OUTSIDE LIMIT of survivability AFTER a heart stoppage event caused by cardiomyopathy.
    Had he NOT been resuscitated the first time the story would have been he took a terrible fall from his desk chair caused by too thick a RUG!

    So yes, anyone touting Atkins' claims of a heart healthy diet are quoting the claims of a rich eminent QUACK, second only to Daffy Duck!
    If your doctor devotes more time to him than one sentence, he's wasting your time.

    Remember, when you hear that "voice crying in the wilderness" check first if it's coming from a wide flat beak before blindly following it on "THE WAY!"
    I thought we weren't going drag this into a low carb v low fat debate? And just as a side note, a good friend of my parent's was a devote Vegetarian, and she also suffered the same viral heart disease, and she subsequently died.

    This is a portion of the Atkin's press release:

    On Thursday April 18, Dr. Robert C. Atkins, the well-known nutrition expert and best selling author, did, in fact, experience cardiac arrest during breakfast. He was quickly revived by an associate and taken to the hospital. As this was not a heart attack (or myocardial infarction), but a cardiac arrest related to an infection of the heart he has been suffering from for a few years, Dr. Atkins experienced a speedy recovery and was released from the hospital on Wednesday, April 24. In fact, Dr. Atkins hopes to return to his responsibilities, including local speaking engagements and as chairman of the Dr. Robert C. Atkins Foundation, within the next week or so. His doctors have advised him to curtail his travel plans for the next 30 days as a precautionary measure.
    The cause of this event was cardiomyopathy, not blocked arteries. Over the last couple of years, Dr. Atkins has had an infection of the heart muscle (called the myocardium) contracted during an overseas trip. Coupled with the extreme heat conditions of mid-April here in New York, the 71-year old Dr. Atkins suffered this event.



    Here is the press release after his death

    The Journal article was based on incomplete and inaccurate personal medical information that was released in violation of federal law. Furthermore, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which, despite its name is a group of animal rights activists, illegally delivered these documents to the newspaper.


    Dr. Atkins' weight was consistently and frequently documented in the years and months prior to his fall; as he was suffering from cardiomyopathy, his health was monitored closely. Despite this, he regularly played tennis, his favorite sport. His weight at his death was a result of water retention. During his coma, as he deteriorated and his major organs failed, fluid retention and bloating dramatically distorted his body.

    Any implication that Dr. Atkins was obese prior to his accident shows a blatant disregard, or even worse, a twisting of medical facts surrounding this case to suit an agenda. One would also expect knowledgeable physicians to have a better understanding of the physiology of severe heart failure and the degree of fluid retention that occurred during this hospitalization for severe brain trauma. None of us would expect the physicians at PCRM to reveal any of this in light of their past and current motivationóbut surely as medical professionals they understood that this weight gain was not due to obesity.

     
    Old 10-02-2004, 06:40 AM   #29
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zip2play
    FINDINGS: All-cause mortality was significantly reduced (1328 [12.9%] deaths among 10,269 allocated simvastatin versus 1507 [14.7%] among 10,267 allocated placebo; p=0.0003), due to a highly significant 18% (SE 5) proportional reduction in the coronary death rate (587 [5.7%] vs 707 [6.9%]; p=0.0005), a marginally significant reduction in other vascular deaths (194 [1.9%] vs 230 [2.2%]; p=0.07), and a non-significant reduction in non-vascular deaths (547 [5.3%] vs 570 [5.6%]; p=0.4). There were highly significant reductions of about one-quarter in the first event rate for non-fatal myocardial infarction or coronary death (898 [8.7%] vs 1212 [11.8%]; p<0.0001), for non-fatal or fatal stroke (444 [4.3%] vs 585 [5.7%]; p<0.0001), and for coronary or non-coronary revascularisation (939 [9.1%] vs 1205 [11.7%]; p<0.0001). For the first occurrence of any of these major vascular events, there was a definite 24% (SE 3; 95% CI 19-28) reduction in the event rate (2033 [19.8%] vs 2585 [25.2%] affected individuals; p<0.0001). .

    And those results were obtained during 5 years...year after year into the future the gap will widen and widen and widen between the treated and untreated.
    This data is my point! You can not compare the number of people that have an even while taking a statin to those that have an event while on a placebo and IGNORE ALL THE PEOPLE THAT DID NOT HAVE AN EVENT. Out of all the people that were studied it only made a slight improvement by taking the statin. Lipitor's own ad projects a 5% risk of side affect, but they use correct statistical analysis. If they used the exact same statistical analysis on the side affect side, they would have to tout a 40% rate of side affects, not 5%. Please explain using the data from the quoted study why the mortality rate is HIGHER after a cardiac event. The data is there. LOOK AT THE DATA! There is only a slight improvement, not this huge reported 25%. You can not compare a partial group to a partial group without including the entire gourp.

    Lets look at it a different way. After FIVE years,

    87.71% of the statin people were still alive
    85.36% of the placebo people were still alive


    So, my odds of being alive after five years on a statin is 87.7% or 85.4% on a placebo? This is with a "STATED" 5% risk of side affect, with an apparent much higher risk of side affect?

    Statins are not the answer.

     
    Old 10-02-2004, 06:44 AM   #30
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    Re: Lipitor / Statins Using Bad Statistics

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rahod
    You got that right. I will jump on anyone who peddles this *conspiracy crap*....because that's just what it all boils down to isn't it? Yeah..all these Dr's are like the CIGARETTE Companies trying to HOOK US on statins
    I don't believe the Dr's are part of this huge conspiracies. What I do believe is the drug companies are selling to make a profit, and doing a very good job of it. What bothers me are the dr's who are listening to the drug companies sales brochures and NOT reading the studies and looking at the data. My own Dr. told me that taking Lipitor would reduce my risk of heart attack by 25%. Lipitor's own advertising states it has not shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Where's my Dr. getting the info to be able to make that statement, from a drug salesman. He's doing the same thing most of the skeptics here are doing, NOT LOOKING AT THE DATA.

    Last edited by phil58; 10-02-2004 at 06:58 AM.

     
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