- Lipid-lowering medications are prescribed for the treatment of heart diseases.
- Research studies describe the benefits of statins in the treatment of heart disease and stroke.
- A group of Doctors criticize that the study results of statins have misled people to side effects.
Statins are lipid-lowering medications prescribed to lower the cholesterol levels in the blood. These drugs are usually prescribed for the treatment of various cardiovascular diseases.
According to a research study published in LANCET, statins were found to help in the prevention of more than 80,000 heart diseases each year.
‘Side effects of statin drugs are underestimated in most of the study results published in the journals.’
Researchers also claimed that these drugs were more useful and were found to do more good than harm.
Recent Criticism Against the LANCET Study
A group of doctors from Britain, United States, France and Ireland led by Dr. Aseem Malhotra has recently written to The Prescriber
about the side effects of statins that are underestimated.
The physicians also claimed that some of the data regarding the drugs were not published in the journal.
Statin drugs reduce the high blood cholesterol levels, but is capable of causing side effects like muscle pain, memory loss, depression and sexual difficulties.
Prof Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, stated that the paper published in the journal continues to provide information about the safety and benefits of statins.
People with 10% chance of heart disease in the next ten years should be advised to take the medication according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence(NICE).
Statin Use Over the Years
Prof Mark Baker, from Nice, said "Nice's guidance on the risk assessment and reduction of heart disease and strokes, including lipid modification, is based on the overwhelming body of evidence supporting the use of statins, even in people at relatively low risk."
The guidelines for statins did not impose on people who were at risk but helped people to recognize the importance of one's choice.
The effectiveness of the statins is well proved, and they are cheap and safe for use.
Regular exercises, following a proper diet and lifestyle changes will help to prevent heart diseases and stroke in patients who are at risk of taking the medicines.
Dr. Malhotra said, 'Decades of misinformation on cholesterol and the gross exaggeration of statin benefits with downplaying of side effects has likely led to the overmedication of millions.'
'It's time to enter a new era for full independent access to all clinical trials data so doctors can make decisions on treatments with patients with full transparency about true benefits and risks. Until then let's open our eyes and stop buying into the great cholesterol con.' he added.