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The Terrifyingly Tiny Effect of Statin Drugs

If you have heart disease and take a statin drug to lower your cholesterol, how much longer will you live – a few more years? A couple of extra months? Or can you count the difference in days?

We already know that statin manufacturers use imaginative statistical tricks to make a 1% reduction in heart attack risk seem impressive, but this is a new angle.

For the first time a recent study looked at all the scientific trials of statin drugs to see how long extra, on average, people lived by taking the drug.

The result? If people did not have heart disease they lived only 3 days longer on a statin drug – during drug trials that were on average five years long. If they did already have heart disease and took the drug daily for about five years they lived… 4 days longer.

The cost of these 4 extra days include the risk of side effects like feeling tired, lack of energy, slightly lowered IQ, muscle pain etc. – every day.

I think potential users of these drugs should be informed of these facts first.

Earlier


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PS

Note that living on average 4 days longer (during a five year trial) could be an over-estimation. These trials are funded by the drug companies and only 11 of 27 trials have released needed data to include them in the analysis. The other 16 trials tended to have less impressive benefits to the participants, according to the review.
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6 Comments

  1. chris c
    What's worse is that these few days are at the wrong end of your life . . .
    . . . coming shortly, part 2 which shows the MAJOR ADVANTAGES!!! of PCSK9 inhibitors while statins become the no longer profitable sacrificial goat
    or have I become too cynical?
  2. Joy Carlin Honodel
    I was put on a Statin and had a 32 lb weight gain, symptoms of MS, onset of Type 2 Diabetes and Renal damage. Finally a RN friend asked me if I was taking a statin? At the time my legs did not work to climb stairs and my friend encouraged me to stop the statin. I regained my muscle control lost 32 lbs and because of cholesterol numbers the Physicians Assistant prescribed ANOTHER STATIN which my pharmacist caught and I refused the drug. She then put me on Red yeast rice 3 times daily and a cardiologist told me it was STATIN. I now have stage 3 kidney disease with an eFGR of 33. Please be proactive and review online these random meds that are prescribed by the incompetent to the ignorant...By the way I no longer have diabetes after 1 year with an A1c of 5.5 Just sayin...
  3. Lynne
    I hope you are better now!
  4. Andrés
    Not that I disagree with the conclusion but Kristen et alter computed their average extra survival time during the trial duration taking into account anyone under treatment (dead or alive). I have explained it thoroughly in my blog.
  5. Stergio
    My mother had a history of heart disease and took statins. Despite this the end came as a series of strokes that led to hospitalisation. Her extra 4 days were spent horribly in morphine induced stupor not struggling to live but struggling to die. I think I want a successful heart attack in my sleep.
  6. Barbara Young
    I'm on prevastatin 40 mg for the last year! I've just started the LCHF WOE. I'm also a type 2 diabetic on metformin and two types of insulin hoping and praying this diet will free me of all these mess!!! My A1C was 12.5 so I have to do some thing I need all the help I can get and advice...

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