Sunday, February 6, 2011

Statins: A real money maker

Since it's February and it's heart month, it's the time of year that the pharmaceutical companies start promoting you being on medication of dubious benefit with possible dangerous side effects for the rest of your life. (Statins are cholesterol lowering drugs, like Lipitor and Crestor). Do they have to pay for this advertising? Hell no. They get "journalists" to publish the advertisment-as-news-story.

The first news article I read today about the untreated "epidemic of high cholesterol" was based on a study by the World Health Organization that found that a lot of people in developing countries had high cholesterol and were therefore at risk of heart attacks. They then cited this statistic:
"Cardiovascular disease kills more than 17 million people every year and WHO says 80 percent of these deaths occur in developing countries."

To which my morbid and sarcastic mind thought, one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic. (attributed to Stalin) So, this means that not that many people die of cardiovascular disease in the world. 17 million divided by the population of planet earth, which is about 7 billion at the moment means that .002% of people in the entire world die of cardiovascular disease every year according to the statistic given anyway. And 80% are in developing countries? What else is killing people?

Probably cancer from trying to lower our cholesterol, and in the case of developing countries, infectious disease. But if the pharmaceutical companies don't scare people into thinking there's an epidemic, no one will want to take the medication they're hawking.

Another news article was complaining about the fact that so many Americans aren't getting treated for high cholesterol.
"In all, as many as two out of three Americans with high levels of bad cholesterol do not have their problem under control, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

That means only about 23 million of the 71 million adults with worrisome bad cholesterol levels keep it in check, perhaps because many don't eat wisely, exercise or take prescribed medications, experts said."

Never mind that diet and exercise have nothing to do with cholesterol, that it's genetic, and on top of that, has very little, if anything to do with cardiovascular disease!

What these articles are really decrying, is the fact that not *everyone* is on a statin. They want to put children on them from what I've heard. Another article says anyone over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol checked.
"There has been a national health objective known as Healthy People 2010 that seeks to make at least 80 percent of people age 20 and older aware of their cholesterol level. Unfortunately, this goal is not being met by every state in the nation."

My father-in-law is a pharmacist, and when he started out way back in the day, very few people were on maintenance medication. Those with high blood pressure and diabetes were about the only ones, and there weren't very many of them. Now he said, everyone's on maintenance medication for the rest of their lives, in an attempt to fix what our broken diet has caused. They wind up with side effects from the first medication and wind up on more medication to treat the side effects from the first!

If you're worried about cardiovascular disease, first you need to read either Gary Taubes book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" or "Why We Get Fat And What to Do About It." Then you need to read Dr. Uffe Ravnskov's books on fat and cholesterol. His first book is out of print, but his second two can be bought from Amazon. If you want more reading, check out books on homocysteine by Dr. Kilmer McCully, MD. They also have a website with information on why cholesterol is not important and why statins are dangerous to your health.

If you have family members that are on statins, they should probably wean themselves off of them. If you want to know why, read books on statin side effects and how they cause normal biological functions to cease, by Dr. Duane Graveline, MD.

**Do not go off of medication cold turkey. Consult a doctor, or better yet a pharmacist first. Pharmacists know more about medications than doctors.

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