75% Of All Statin Users Are Being Swindled

statinsIn this article you will be shocked to learn that the vast majority of patients taking a statin are being swindled and duped into thinking they are getting state-of-the-art cardiac care. When in reality there is NO INDICATION for 75% of current users to be taking one. Furthermore, anyone who takes a statin long-term is a setup for disaster which I will cover in a separate blog on statin toxicity. Right now I bet many of you are either on a statin or know of a loved one who was forced to statinate. I hope this article will help some of you get off this drug while you still have time.

IF STATINS ARE SO VITAL HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

In the last blog I detailed the proof that I know what I am doing by analyzing my heart scan for you. I have mentioned previously that I do not currently nor have I ever taken a statin (except for that three day trial). Now if statins are so vital, so critical in the modern management of heart disease then why didn’t I have another devastating cardiac event without being “protected” by a statin? Dr Elite, I have made a fatal error. Please help me to understand how it is that I can be alive without ever taking a statin especially being in a very, very high risk subset of patients. How is this possible?

ANTHROPIC GUY VERSES DR ELITE

Well, all of those fully immersed within the myopic statin system would say that I’m a paradox, stupid and just plain lucky. Perhaps, but maybe I actually know what I’m talking about. The Elites, for reasons that will become very clear, are not telling you everything that you should know if you wish to become healthy again. Choose your side. I’m the walking, talking anthropic principle guy. Do you remember the anthropic principle? My version goes like this: I can comment, contemplate and write about my success BECAUSE I am HERE to contemplate, write and discuss said success (and not “not here” as in dead). In other words if I were feeble, addled or dead then you would not be reading about an alternate path to wellness and avoiding heart disease because I never discovered a path to write about. The simple fact that I’m alive and healthier is proof that my lifestyle is correct. If you still doubt me don’t worry you’ll get more but you should be convinced already based on the amazing paradoxical success of Anthropic Guy.

Let us begin with the proof needed to bury this mansion built on sand that statins will help you live longer and healthier. In the following section I am going to show you the results of key studies which clearly show that there is no role for statins in primary prevention.

IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS THE LIE: SATURATED FAT CAUSES HEART DISEASE.

AncelKeys

The best place to start is with the study that launched the entire anti-fat and anti-cholesterol campaign-the studies by the famous, no infamous, no, the notorious Ancel Keyes. It proceeds like this: in the early 50’s using epidemiological studies available from 21 countries he chose to use data from 7 of those countries to illustrate his point and emerging theory that eating saturated fat was associated with heart disease. By cherry picking his data he produced a perfect curvilinear relationship between those countries that ate a lot of saturated animal fat and cholesterol to the increased incidence of coronary disease and mortality. (See the movie Statin Nationfor a perfect illustration of that curve.)

Had Keyes used all of the data from all 21 countries the association between heart disease and saturated fat intake vanishes. In response to Keye’s selection of countries Dr Ravnskov had this to say: 

The seven countries were admittedly selected by Keys. Such selection may be helpful to illustrate an idea at a preliminary stage, but a proof of causality demands random data. In more recent studies, including many more countries, the association was weak, absent, or inverse. [1]

George Mann a researcher from Vanderbilt discovered that Keyes had left out those countries where the data supported physical activity as the most accurate predictor of heart disease.[2]

ancel-keys

This is a very important point because although this little hiccup in the theory didn’t go unnoticed it nonetheless didn’t stop Keyes from slamming home the falsehood and establishing a toehold for the anti-fat folks heavily invested in the low fat/cholesterol heart disease paradigm called the Diet-Heart hypothesis. Had others been more aware of the way that Keyes selected his 7 countries, and that the association vanishes when all 21 countries are combined, the Diet-Heart hypothesis would have been busted and forgotten.

STATIN STUDIES: PRIMARY PREVENTION (PARTICIPANTS DO NOT HAVE THE DIAGNOSIS OF HEART DISEASE. THEY HAVE NEVER HAD A HEART ATTACK) IS USED IN THEORY TO PREVENT A FIRST HEART ATTACK.

As far as primary prevention goes, accounting for around 75 percent of all the people who take a statin, the data clearly do not support their use.

If we look at the history of primary prevention clinical trials involving statins, we find that none of the major trials were able to demonstrate a significant reduction in the number of deaths from all causes. The AFCAPS, ASCOT, CARDS, PROSPER and WOSCOPS clinical trials all failed to show a statistically significant reduction in all-cause mortality.

This data for deaths from all causes is, of course, important because it is the only measure we can use to determine if a statin is going to extend life expectancy or not.

FROM THE NEWLY RELEASED (OCTOBER 2012) FILM STATIN NATION:

Whilst some statin clinical trials have shown a very slight reduction in cardiac events, this has always been counter-acted by deaths from other causes. The net result being that people did not live any longer after taking a statin. In fact, a meta-analysis of primary prevention clinical trials published in 2001 suggested that statins increase mortality when taken over a ten year period for both men and women.

More recently, pharmaceutical companies and much of the world’s media have been touting the results of the JUPITER trial. However, if we take a closer look at the data for this trial, we can see that the statin and the placebo group had exactly the same number of cardiovascular related deaths – a fact that is highlighted by Dr Malcolm Kendrick in the new documentary.

  1. JUPITER Study.After two years in the statin arm of the study the number of cardiac deaths was 12, in the placebo arm the total was also 12. Study stopped for wrong reasons: control group had more cancer deaths. Relative risk reduction (RRR) of heart attacks by 54% true reduction or absolute risk reduction was less than ½ of 1%! If you were to simply look at the conclusions using the RRR you would think the statin group fared very well. This is not true. Both groups suffered from CHD/CVD in less than 1% of their respective populations. An improvement of ½ of 1% is no improvement at all. This study which is often quoted was put to task and severely criticized in an article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2010. They said this in their conclusion:

“The results of the trial do not support the use of statin treatment for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases and raise troubling questions concerning the role of commercial sponsors.”

Another article published in the journal Cardiology in 2011 raised similar concerns. Furthermore the lead author of the JUPITER trial holds the patent on the CRP blood test everyone would be required to obtain based on this and other studies. 

  1. In 2010, a meta-analysis of 11 statin trials was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Titled: Statins and All-Cause Mortality in High-Risk Primary Prevention. Professor Kausik Ray was the lead author. It is worth mentioning that this analysis had the ‘cleanest’ dataset of any analysis completed to date – the researchers were able to exclude patients with existing heart disease (secondary prevention) and only include data associated with primary prevention. They looked at over 65,000 patients in a Meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled studies.

Conclusion: This literature-based meta-analysis did not find evidence for the benefit of statin therapy on all-cause mortality in a high-risk primary prevention set-up.[3]

Thus, even before we start to assess the risks associated with statins, we can see that there is no meaningful net benefit where primary prevention is concerned.[4]

I want to depart from the discussion to mention one interesting set of facts. What we also see from the WOSCOPS study was that CHD death and heart attack were independent of LDL concentration in men with the metabolic syndrome (see below).[5] This indicates that something other than LDL may be responsible for causing heart attacks and that something is inflammation which can be measured by CRP: (Recall from my last blog that my CRP was 0.05 mg/L)

  • CRP was significantly elevated (greater than 3mg/L) in those men who had the metabolic syndrome than in those without the syndrome,
  • High CRP levels independently predicted a high risk of heart disease and diabetes,
  • All of the men with the metabolic syndrome also had high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, and low HDL cholesterol levels,[note LDL cholesterol level is technically not part of the syndrome but often the small dense LDL particle is included since it often is seen with high triglycerides my addition].
  • Men with the metabolic syndrome (at least 3 of the above factors used to define the metabolic syndrome), had a 76% greater risk of heart attack than men without the syndrome. This increase in risk is similar to an increase in age of 10 years or the risk in smokers.
  • Men who had 4 or more of the 5 factors used to define the metabolic syndrome had a 4-fold risk for heart disease and a 24-fold risk for diabetes,
  • The metabolic syndrome identifies men at high risk of heart disease and death from heart disease regardless of their LDL concentrations,
  • The authors note that their findings show that the presence of the metabolic syndrome predicts heart disease independently of the conventional risk factors, including high LDL cholesterol levels. High CRP levels in those with the metabolic syndrome further increases the risk of heart disease. The presence of the metabolic syndrome also strongly predicts future risk for diabetes.

 Here we have another contradiction to the cholesterol causes heart disease theory. This time it’s the CRP level which when high more accurately predicts future heart attack risk regardless of LDL. In other words LDL is meaningless in conditions of high levels of inflammation (metabolic syndrome, chronic disease, autoimmunity). Your LDL could be 60 mg/dl a level that would put you on the front cover of JAMA and you would still be at high risk for a heart attack if your CRP were high. This is exactly what the literature shows-people still have heart attacks even when their LDL cholesterol is “perfect.”

  1. Cochrane review for primary prevention 2011. When the Cochrane reviewers looked at the evidence for primary prevention, analysis showed no indication for primary prevention. They felt that the data was contaminated in such a way as to exaggerate the benefit for primary prevention. Study author, Dr. Shah Ebrahim, is quoted by Heartwire as saying:

If you look at the hard end points of all deaths and coronary deaths, the effects are consistent with both benefit and with the play of chance. But importantly, the absolute benefits are really rather small—1000 people have to be treated for one year to prevent one death. It is probably a real effect, but it means a lot of people have to be treated to gain this small benefit. As we don’t know the harms, it seems wrong-minded to me to treat everyone with a statin. In these circumstances, lifestyle changes and stopping smoking would be far preferable.

  1. Dr Abramson published an article in the Lancet in 2007.Our analysis suggests that lipid-lowering statins should not be prescribed for true primary prevention in women of any age or for men older than 69 years. High-risk men aged 30-69 years should be advised that about 50 patients need to be treated for 5 years to prevent one event [heart attack].

In our experience, many men presented with this evidence do not choose to take a statin, especially when informed of the potential benefits of lifestyle modification on cardiovascular risk and overall health. This approach, based on the best available evidence in the appropriate population, would lead to statins being used by a much smaller proportion of the overall population than recommended by any of the guidelines.[6] [Emphasis mine].

In an interview with Dr Abramson (author of Overdosed America) for the recently released movie Statin Nation, he had this to say, the small decrease in heart attacks is offset by the increase in other serious diseases so that the patient will not live one day longer on a statin.”

  1. Statins for Primary Prevention (Jackson PR et al Statins for Primary Prevention: at what coronary risk is safety assured? Br J Clin Pharmacol 2001; 52:439-46)

Long term use of statins for primary prevention of heart disease produced a 1% greater risk of death over ten years vs. placebo when the results of all the big controlled trials reported before 2000 were combined.

  1. Primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases with statin therapy: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.Thavendiranathan P. Meta-analysis of random controlled trials.  42,848 patients 4.3 years mean follow up. Statin therapy reduced the relative risk (RR) of major coronary events, major cerebrovascular events, and revascularizations by 29.2% Conclusion: In patients without CV disease, statin therapy decreases the incidence of major coronary and cerebrovascular events and revascularizations but not coronary heart disease or overall mortality.[7]

PRIMARY PREVENTION BOTTOM LINE

Note number 6 which I saved for last. It shows a very different conclusion than all of the others. In it they claim that both stroke and heart attack are reduced by nearly 30%. This is the relative risk reduction. Remember how different this number looks compared to the absolute RR? In absolute terms it’s tiny. It comes down to 60 patients taking a statin for 4 years to prevent one heart attack. Note also that overall mortality did not decrease which is the most important parameter of all as we know. Also note that the incidence of coronary heart disease itself did not change. In other words the participant’s coronary arteries continued to plaque out over time at the same rate as the general population.

Note that we have a 2011 meta-analysis that showed no benefit whatsoever in taking a statin for primary prevention as did the 2007 & 2010 meta-analysis studies. By sheer weight of quality studies it appears that there is no overall benefit in taking a statin for primary prevention. It will not help you live one day longer since overall mortality is not improved upon. As far as preventing a heart attack you’ve seen that on average about 50 patients will need to take a statin for 5 years to prevent one heart attack. In spite of the exaggerated claims made by our Elites who have become wealthy maintaining the status quo for Big Pharma, the real data is much more sobering.This is particularly important when you consider the powerful impact diet and lifestyle have on the prognosis of heart disease as I have demonstrated. There really is no argument here for the use of these drugs for primary prevention. Any doctor that reads this and argues otherwise should be suspect.

In the end you may have to deal with a sometimes very persuasive cardiologist/internist who insists that you be on a statin or you will die. Common sense tells me that if they were more up to date on the literature they would not be prescribing statins for primary prevention (or at all) which accounts for most of the statin prescriptions. This is an epic swindle to be sure. Please hang on to this blog, make a copy and keep it handy for the time when your misinformed MD tells you that you must take a statin or die. Precisely at that moment is when you, gentle reader, flip out your copy and produce all the proof needed to nullify your doc’s commandment. Years from now when you realize that you avoided mummification from your statin you can thank me.



[1] Ravnskov. (http://www.ravnskov.nu/myth4.htm) from original citation:Jacobs D, and others. 1992. Report of the conference on low blood cholesterol: mortality associations. Circulation 1992;86:1046-60.

[2] Anthony Colpo. The Great Cholesterol Con. Second Edition.  LuLu.com. 2006. p. 38

[3]   Statins and All-Cause Mortality in High-Risk Primary Prevention A Meta-analysis of 11 Randomized Controlled Trials Involving 65 229 Participants Kausik K. Ray, MD, MPhil, FACC, FESC; Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(12):1024-1031.                                                                

[5]. Naveed Sattar, Allan Gaw, and others.  Metabolic Syndrome With and Without C-Reactive Protein as a Predictor of Coronary Heart Disease and Diabetes in the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study Circulation, July 29, 2003.

[7] (Arch Intern Med. 2006 Nov 27;166(21):2307-13.) 05/05/2013


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Category: STATINS

About the Author ()

Dr. Christopher Rasmussen (aka Reality Renegade) is the author of his upcoming book, "InflaNATION: Industrial Diners & A Doc In The Box." By deliberately avoiding harmful industrial foods and the Commercial Sick Care System with its Pills and Procedures paradigm, Dr Rasmussen cured himself of a deadly disease-which became the reason for writing this book. In the book, he provides the facts you must know and the solutions to regain your health, maintain wellness, and outlive your parents' generation in an extraordinarily toxic world.

Comments (2)

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  1. Danny Lyons says:

    Excellent information. In my own humble estimation any medication that interfers with the mevalonate pathway cant be good.

  2. Christopher Rasmussen MD, MS (aka "Reality Renegade") says:

    Hi Danny,
    For a real in-depth look at the importance of cholesterol search Dr Stephanie Seneff (from MIT). She has all of her papers available for free to read. She also has informative blogs on all sorts of fun things.

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