Immovable Object

I have not been blogging much recently. One of the reasons is that I have been involved with a group of doctors and professors who have been fighting against the latest guidelines on primary prevention of cardiovascular disease which were due to be announced in July. We have had, as I knew, precisely no effect.

Here is the latest NICE guidance that was announced, today 18th July 2014. The committee having ignored any and all criticism:

Taking further steps to tackle the risk from heart attacks and strokes

NICE has today published its final updated guidance on the steps needed to prevent thousands of people from becoming ill and dying prematurely from heart attacks, strokes and peripheral arterial disease. NICE says doctors should consider many more people to be at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) which causes 1 in 3 deaths in the UK (180,000 each year).

NICE advises that the threshold for starting preventive treatment of these conditions should be halved from a 20% risk of developing CVD over 10 years to a 10% risk. Prevention includes stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, taking exercise and eating a healthy diet. Once these factors have been addressed, the guidance says high intensity statin therapy should be offered.

People can be at risk from CVD because of factors they cannot change including their age, sex, ethnicity, and family history. The guidance recommends that risk factors which can be addressed should be managed.

Professor Mark Baker, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE, says: “To make progress in the battle against heart disease and stroke, we must encourage exercise, improve our diets still further, stop smoking, and where appropriate offer statins to people at risk.

“Doctors have been giving statins to ‘well people’ since NICE first produced guidance on this in 2006. We are now recommending the threshold is reduced further. The overwhelming body of evidence supports their use, even in people at low risk of cardiovascular disease. The effectiveness of these medicines is now well proven and their cost has fallen.

“The weight of evidence clearly shows statins are safe and clinically and cost effective for use in people with a 10% risk of CVD over 10 years. “We’re not saying that everyone with a 10% or greater risk of CVD within 10 years needs to take a statin. The guideline recognises the importance of choice in preventing CVD and that this should be guided by information on the trade-off between benefits and risks.”

By recommending a systematic approach to identifying those at risk of CVD, the guideline will enable people to access treatments to address that risk by reducing their cholesterol levels. It will also provide further clarity for practitioners in primary and secondary care about how to manage patients both with and without pre-existing cardiovascular disease.

NICE recommends that people are assessed (using the QRISK2 calculator) for their risk of developing cardiovascular disease using measurements including whether or not they smoke, their cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body mass index. The calculator then provides a percentage risk of developing CVD in the next 10 years. “This new guideline complements the NHS Health checks programme in helping to identify people at future risk of developing cardiovascular disease at a stage at which lifestyle modification can make a significant difference “says Guideline Development Group Chair Dr Anthony Wierzbicki. “It updates and simplifies treatment protocols for people with established CVD, with diabetes or kidney disease so that these people can derive maximum benefit from lipid-lowering therapies.”Liz Clark, a lay member of the Guideline Development Group, said:

“One of the key challenges is how to convince people who feel well that they need to make substantial lifestyle changes or that they benefit from lifelong drug treatment. This requires high quality information and communication on the benefits and risks of these therapies and this is reflected in the guideline.

“The guideline therefore places patients centrally in any decision making about their management and it emphasises the need to address all CVD risk factors in combination. “It highlights the need for doctors to encourage people to participate in reducing their CVD risk. For example, it recommends that doctors assess a person’s readiness and confidence to make changes to their diet, level of physical activity and smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as taking long-term medication. It also recommends that people are involved in developing a shared management plan.”

So, up to 17 million people in the UK will now be taking statins for the rest of their lives. Well, of course, we will never get anywhere near this number. After about a year 50% of people stop taking their statins – I wonder why. A lot of people will refuse to take them in the first place. But millions and millions will take these drugs for many years.

This is clearly, and absolutely, nuts. My major fear, as I tell anyone, is not that statins have a lot of adverse effects – which they do. You can always stop taking them and the adverse effects go away. If, that is, the effects are not permanent.

I have heard enough testimony from patients, and people who e-mail me, and reviewing FDA Medwatch (the system for picking up drug related adverse effects in America) to believe, one hundred per cent, that many people have been left permanently disabled from taking statins.

My personal belief is that the true burden of damage that will be caused by millions of people taking statins, forever, is very heavy. Every individual case of irreversible neuropathy, or muscle wasting, or degenerative neurological condition, or suchlike, is dismissed as anecdote by the great and the good – and the NICE. ‘Statins don’t do that.’ Is what I hear.

Well, part of me hopes that statins really don’t do that. But, frankly, I don’t believe it. I believe that mass statination of the entire adult population is an absolute medical disaster. I shall continue the fight.

140 thoughts on “Immovable Object

  1. celia

    Oh for some open mindedness and the preparedness to look again. We are now heading for an ever increasing number of people entering old age in a less healthy state than might have been the case. I, for one, regret ever taking statins…

    Reply
  2. Mark John

    Good to have you back from your endeavours.
    Your efforts will be fruitful… one day, but how many millions will have needlessly suffered by then…?

    Reply
  3. Richard Painter

    Another great post Malcolm – I predict that one day statin-ation will be viewed as the Thalidomide scandal of the early 21st century and before that we will see anti-inflammatory drugs targeting vascular wall damage launched as all come to see that cholesterol was never the cause of CVD but a mere bystander at the scene of an accident caused by excess carbohydrates etc.

    Reply
  4. Brian

    I have doubts about the QRISK2 as well, as, if you say you are taking blood pressure medication your risk goes up (eg to 24%) even though your systolic goes down as a result of the drugs. So I changed this to no treatment but with a higher systolic and the risk went down about 3 %! So you seem better off not taking the drugs! I do think that a lower bp matters as does no smoking and low consumption of alcohol and the wrong diet, but nothing yet convinces me about the link of cholesterol and CVD

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      The risk calculators are just nonsense anyway. If you live in France, divide by four. How can you have a risk calculator that has to be adapted by several hundred per cent to fit different populations. Does this not make people think they are just looking at associations, not causes…..no, clearly it does not. Even though that is the only possible answer.

      Reply
      1. celia

        Just did the 2014 risk calculator. Bad risk of about 15% till I changed my age from 70 to 48. Suddenly my risk is 0.9%. All I can say is this is a trap for all of us over retirement age. What’s more they can blame all the side effects on getting older. It’s a nice trick if you can do it…

      2. Eddie Mitchell

        “The risk calculators are just nonsense anyway. If you live in France, divide by four”

        I am selling up and moving to France as fast as my spindly legs will carry me, anything other than satins.

        Kind regards Eddie

      3. mikecawdery

        DREAD RISKS
        or how to frighten people (sheople???)
        Gigerenzer, Gerd (2014-04-17). Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions (p. 234). Penguin Books Ltd.
        Chapter 11 also has a go at banks and fancy models

  5. Sunnie Scarlett

    Thanks for the last line of your post. You sounded so discouraged about the blinder-shrouded decisions made by NICE, I was a bit fearful that you were on the brink of throwing in the towel on the fight against overstatinization. As an otherwise healthy American with slightly elevated cholesterol levels who can’t find a physician who will shut up about statin use, I very much look forward to your posts on the topic. I can’t get a doctor to answer my objections to statin use with science; each of them swallowed the Kool-aid and accepts the assumption that statins prevent CVD. Period. Actual statistics don’t count. “Those people (doctors like yourself) are just stupid. You can stand a few aches and pains and gaps in your memory if the alternative is a heart attack, don’t you think?”
    Thanks for what you do.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      No, things are moving. I am more discouraged at the complete inability of people to look at the evidence without wearing ‘confirmation bias’ goggles. We think committees can decide things, but a committee is the exact opposite of the scientific method. It is just a way of getting a bunch of important people to confirm to each other that they were right to think what they always thought, all along. Scientific truth, and committees, are not comfortable bed-fellows.

      Reply
  6. Clutter

    “One of the key challenges is how to convince people who feel well that they need to make substantial lifestyle changes or that they benefit from lifelong drug treatment. This requires high quality information and communication on the benefits and risks of these therapies and this is reflected in the guideline.”

    Unfortunately, the advice to patients is likely to translate to ‘make substantial lifestyle changes AND take Statins’ without waiting for lifestyle changes to take effect and without adequate warning of the risks.

    I foresee a long and unnecessarily painful life for patients agreeing to this therapy 😦

    Reply
  7. Stephen Rhodes

    Do the ‘so called’ experts on the NICE advisory panel that recommends cholesterol lowering statin drugs as a means of reducing CVD and stroke actually bother to read all the relevant research? or just that research that reinforces their prejudices?

    I only ask because the more I read the more I find holes in their arguments that should not be ignored by ‘proper’ scientists – religious fanatics maybe but not anyone who understands that consensus does not validate theory.

    As a result of following a link on the DrBriffa blog I found this 2011 paper
    http://www.ejinme.com/article/S0953-6205%2811%2900004-5/fulltext
    that casts doubt on the widespread belief that there is such a thing as bad cholesterol. The lead author has a certain reputation for finding research that casts doubt on the unthinking demonising of cholesterol, and more power to her elbow in doing so. In this paper the link is made between the lowering of LDL and IDL and the proper functioning of the brain – possibly explaining many of the neurological problems experienced by those taking statins.

    I have tried to get QRISK®2-2012 to give me a less than 10% answer but without success. As far as I can tell the people who entered the threshold values into the spreadsheet did so with the sole purpose of getting as many people into the statin treatment cohort as possible. To even get close to 10% I have to enter BP values 20/10 below the point at which a German GP would refer me for BP raising treatment to ensure my organs received adequate blood supply.

    Having read Stephanie Seneff et al. I will continue to ignore NICE and take a 10% risk of CVD or stroke (a la QRISK®2-2012) rather than put myself at increased risk of developing AD etc.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Regarding AD you should read ;
      Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2009;28:75–80
      DOI: 10.1159/000231980 Can be downloaded in full.
      Midlife Serum Cholesterol and Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia Three Decades Later
      Alina Solomon et al.

      In tables 2 to 4, replace cholesterol levels in the row titles with guideline treatment. Remember the US paranoia on cholesterol and statins.

      This does not change numbers or stats but certainly changes the interpretation. Actual therapy details withheld – do not offend Big Pharma when having to negotiate purchase of drugs

      Reply
  8. Jennifer

    Dr K. I was rather hoping you were enjoying a nice holiday somewhere, but I suspected you would be addressing the problems highlighted in your excellent blog today.
    So, I for one, will continuing staying well away from my GP, as I have done for 18 months. Since stopping taking statins my health has improved brilliantly, but I feel for the docs who insisted I should not stop, and who will now be under even greater pressure to prescribe them. I do not wish to cause further confrontation, so I will stay remote….not knowing one way or t’other about my chemical profile. But why should I need/want to know? Oh, yes, I see now….Liz Clark is putting on the frighteners…. “How to convince people who feel well….. to lifelong drug treatment “. THE BOGEY MAN APPROACH TO HEALTH CARE! Good grief.
    Please keep up your good work.

    Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Stephen, I watched that programme…amazing. I was hooked as soon as the mouth wash issue reared its head! My husband has listened to me “going on” about such rubbish, which we DO NOT NEED, since I was taught about its futility and interference with the mouth’s natural flora, 49 years ago, at the wonderful ( long since demolished) Newcastle Upon Tyne Dental Hospital. My views have not changed. So, big pharma was around then too.

  9. Flyinthesky

    Indeed you haven’t ! There are a lot of issues here that form the big picture:
    The intent of the pharmaceutical industry, that’s as clear as a glass of water.
    Then we have the FUD, fear, uncertainty and doubt, proffered by the government and ably assisted by the “health care” professionals. An insisted delegation of personal resposibily to people who “on message” know better.
    Care of such programming, we now are in a situation whereby the doctor is not someone who is totally motivated by his patients wellbeing and the nurse is his minion. We have a state now where the nurse has been elevated to demi god status and the doctor is a de facto deity.
    The government is on board with all this as it’s a method of control not to mention the inferred reduction in NHS liability, I reiterate: they don’t care about us, any of us, side effects, consequences or whatever, just the, promised, reduction of percieved liability.
    So, we have a situation, the pharma’ companies are not going to moderate their intent, the government aren’t going to stop looking for ways to ameliorate their liabily, the populace isn’t going to assume greater responsibility for their own wellbeing and lastly, sorry Malcolm, the health care professionals are not going to relinquish any of their deity status.
    You’re poking around within your own area of expertise, I commend you, but whether you choose to look or not, the populace’s position is to be controlled and monetised, rarely consulted.
    Access all areas, if you will, it all works the same.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Its not the Matrix yet. People do think for themselves, in the end. In the end, change occurs in the right direction. Winston Churchill once said of the US ‘You can always rely on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have tried everything else.’ I would say. ‘You can always rely on medicine to do the right things, after it has tried everything else.’ Optimistically, yours.

      Reply
      1. Spokey

        I can’t help thinking if machines did take over the world and start using us as heat batteries like in the film, they’d do a better job on the pharmaceutical front than we have.

    2. Robert Kingsbury

      Sadly, I have to agree with everything you say, flyinthesky.. It’s a “win win win” for the government. The “experts” take the blame away from the government; the government rakes in all the extra revenues from Pharma; and the old folk are killed off to reduce the financial burden on the state. Now the patent is off statins, the only way to maintain profits on a lower margin is to increase volumes. The saddest point to come out of this whole thread, though, is also what I feel myself…..I do not trust my doctor.

      Reply
      1. celia

        I agree with your last sentence wholeheartedly Robert. How sad that we should be put in the position where we can no longer trust the advice and guidance of our family doctor, and even be scared to visit for fear of facing a difficult confrontation over statins.

      2. Cstckdvd

        Don’t be too sad for your doctor. Remember that doctors are in a similar position to patients. Once there are guidelines they have no choice, no opportunity to do what they think best, they are forced to do as they are told by vested interests. If they don’t they, risk being taken to court for negligence. At least patients can say no.
        Keep pushing, Malcolm, we need many more like you.

      3. Catherine Reynolds

        I had a great GP who always actually listened to what I was saying. I wanted to lose some weight about 7 years ago, and instead of just telling me “eat less and move more” he suggested that I try a low carbohydrate approach, but was incredibly careful not to mention the “A” word, because that particular doctor’s nutritional approach was still being seen as “quackish”, and of course, low-fat was still in charge from a weight loss point of view. In other words, he probably did not agree with the low-fat “advice” that doctors were being recommended to give, but he didn’t dare to actually say so. I will always be grateful to him for listening to me, and because it actually worked for me. He disappeared from the practice very suddenly two years ago, and I have often wondered if his more independent (for the sake of a better word) methods were being frowned upon by others at the surgery. I think it is a dreadful thing that people are now mistrusting their GPs, simply because of the likes of NICE.

  10. Ron Logan

    Long time fan Dr Kendrick… After reading this line:”The overwhelming body of evidence supports their use, even in people at low risk of cardiovascular disease. The effectiveness of these medicines is now well proven…”, I was hoping you’d make some sort of comment, even if just a profanity laden tirade. But I suppose you’ve grown weary over the years. How can they say such things? Sad to think our health leaders can be so stupid or greedy.. or both.

    Reply
    1. CJP

      ”The overwhelming body of evidence supports their use, even in people at low risk of cardiovascular disease. The effectiveness of these medicines is now well proven…”

      The overwhelming body of common sense says people should be highly sceptical of the claims made for them and reject their use.

      Reply
  11. Karen

    It appears that it is big pharma’s intention to expand the “disease category” so wide that almost no can escape it. Then once this is done, increase the prices of the drugs needed to treat the disease.

    The FIRST step could be to convince everyone that they are ill in one way or the other, i.e. grief longer than two weeks, cholesterol too high, blood pressure, sugar too high,adult attention deficient, etc, etc. etc. It will be possible to prescribe almost everyone on one or more pills. Think about it: In the early 70’s diabetes diagnosis often came after one’s fasting blood sugar was over 200, now it’s 100; blood pressure used to be 100 plus your age – now everyone has to be 115/75; grief could take a year – now anything over 2 weeks is treatable; cholesterol used to be a vital substance -now it’s the enemy.

    The SECOND step it appears is to develop drugs and to sell them at a high price while they are still on patent.

    The THIRD step often occurs after patent period, a curious thing happens in that the price of some generic drugs increases sharply. This is occurring with a lot of generic drugs these days; tremendous drug price increases – in some cases over 1000%, at times after a drug shortage. From what I have read, it appears to occur after a period of time after these drugs go off patent, doctors can be placed under increasing pressure to have their patients change to taking the patented drug. One doctor described how he was given a three-page questionnaire form to justify his insistance on prescribing a generic heart drug. See article in New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/health/some-generic-drug-prices-are-soaring.html?_r=0

    It appears that the lure of low prices for generics is possibly, a lure, to encourage the general population as a whole to become more comfortable with taking lifelong drugs. Taking chemicals for a period of time can cause the body to become chemically addicted to them. So that abruptly stopping them can cause serious damage. Once the customer has been confirmed, then it’s easier to raise the prices. Is this really happening today????

    Reply
  12. Robin J Willcourt MD

    Well done Malcolm. I am writing a book about the similar state of affairs here in Australia where the laboratories are now reporting new ‘normal’ cholesterol levels: ‘the goal is to reduce the total cholesterol to 4 mmol/L or below! Out of the blue… This is amazing!

    Reply
  13. David Bailey

    Dr. Kendrick,

    I don’t often disagree with you, but when you say you have had no effect, I must point out that you and your colleagues have clearly had an enormous effect!

    Just about everyone must know by now that there is a controversy here, that statins cause nasty side effects, and that this is a battle against drug company vested interests.

    I imagine GPs will find far fewer patients who will start taking statins without a long discussion, and I imagine that many that have endured problems with these drugs – or who have simply stopped taking them – will feel empowered by your efforts to tell their doctors about their side effects. Clearly even doctors don’t realise the seriousness of the side effects – as Dr Chand (in the Guardian and other places) admits – he only realised the truth when he took statins himself!

    Maybe also, more doctors will read the newspapers and start to get cold feet about these drugs.

    Reply
  14. mikecawdery

    “The effectiveness of these medicines is now well proven and their cost has fallen.”

    Really when even in those with a prior CVD event, only 3% whose lives are “saved” over 10 years. What about the 97% who do not benefit in this way? I suppose that they are best forgotten like those who died of CHD from VIOXX, AVANDIA all because of known but hidden data!

    May be everyone should have a look at the following:

    Prof Gerd Gigerenzer
    “Risk Savvy” – a most interesting book that should be read by patients and doctors; particularly the medical section – most illuminating.
    Also
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28166019
    Do doctors understand test results?
    By William Kremer BBC World Service

    Reply
  15. vjadams2014

    In a small way, I’m sure change is occurring and the message is getting through. Recently my GP, a and a nurse in the local practice and a consultant have all told me that there is controversy about optimal cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Another consultant told me that he believes at least 25% of all hospitalisations of the elderly are due to over-prescription – and that more than 90% of preventive prescriptions are unnecessary. Anecdote not evidence, I know, but a few years ago, I don’t remember doctors admitting to uncertainty.

    Reply
  16. vjadams2014

    And I reduced my risk from 15.5% to 6.9% by omitting atrial fibrillation – but the level of risk relating to this condition must surely depend on the severity – occasional episodes of mild paroxysmal AF are surely rather different from constant intense AF requiring the use of a pacemaker. the fact is that you cannot apply the statistics of epidemiology to one individual with any degree of confidence in reliability – there are too many variables.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      “you cannot apply the statistics of epidemiology to one individual with any degree of confidence in reliability – there are too many variables.”

      That is indeed the problem; epidemiology diagnoses the “herd” problem which in many cases is tiny; hence the use of tens, even hundreds, of thousands of “herd units”. Thus treatment is based the herd, the benefit being often in small numbers per 1000. This is simply shotgun therapy (based on absence of an individual diagnosis) dressed up in fancy mathematical clothes designed to deceive.

      Reply
  17. Christopher Palmer

    Dear Dr Kendrick,

    NICEs intransigence on the matter well deserved criticism of these revised guidelines must be a dispiriting blow for yourself and your co-objectors. The 18th July ranks as one of the most disappointing days of my life. I wonder what avenues are left open to pursue.

    If there is already and estimated 7 million takers of these horrible drugs in the UK and if the numbers will now trend towards 11 million that is a sad indictment of medicine. Modern medicine is now so sophisticated there are barely any healthy people left.

    Clearly the takers of statins cannot giving informed patient consent to their GPs prescription. If they were suitably informed only one choice makes sense – and that would to withdraw consent and refuse the prescription. These 7 million people clearly are not in a position to appreciate the scale of your efforts, the importance of the principles at stake, nor the drain on your psyche and time. Despite the fat/cholesterol hypothesis is founded only upon a complete absence of evidence and that the guidelines that rise above it no better than mumbo-jumbo, they have no idea how much effort is needed to present a sceptical case to those enchanted with all the one-sided nonsense. My point is they are not in a (cognitive) position to express their gratitude for the gargantuan efforts and sacrifices you have made on their behalf. So. . .

    Really I speak only for myself ; so can I make it my business to express my sincerest gratitude on my own behalf, .. .. but in recognition that there are many people cannot really speak that well for themselves might I be forward enough to express the gratitude the 7 million people would grant you if only they understood affairs better?

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      It is now an even larger “herd” to treat on the flimsiest of evidence. The only ones to benefit will be Big Pharma and its KOLs.
      Under these new Directives (called guidelines to protect the authors) just what studies show that there is even a trivial benefit or is it another example of extrapolation beyond the actual data range?

      Reply
  18. Christopher Palmer

    and upon related matters .. ..

    Your readers may like Dr Des Spences summary analysis; that NICE should be pulled down and rebuilt from scratch. They may like to learn that Fiona Godlee, as Editor in chief of the BMJ, may be a sympathiser to concern about over- medicalisation and polypharmacy. They could even email her [fgodlee@bmj.com] and say briefly she and the publication she heads ought to be. And they may be pleased learn that within the pages of the BMJ the issue of criminality is being initiated as a debate for being a potential means to combat the way in which claims, data, and ‘evidence’ may be fraudulently misrepresented.

    TheBMJ is showing signs of bucking trends. It is committed to open access, it invites patients to register as participants in peer review, it has a policy of continual publication via its online pages, its online pages are dynamic and permit rapid responses (which are not unlike comments on a blog and comment forum), and theBMJ is proactive in backing and advancing active campaigns upon certain issues having a highly accessible online channel via which readers can follow progress.

    In short theBMJ is reintroducing as sense of democracy back into medical science and practice. The simple if bold step is a counter to the overriding trend of late in the delivery of medical science which has eroded patient centric concern and democracy. This is good news for patients, especially if interested patients take up with interest and make their views known.

    This is an opportunity like no other. TheBmj is a globally respected publication read by medical professionals from all around the world. The online pages are far easier to navigate than ever before, and if you like an article it is easy to lave a short comment to say so. If like a rapid response you can simply give it the thumbs up. The editorial team at The BMJ really appreciate this kind of feedback. It excites them when they know they have initiated interest and involvement in the process. Now we patients can get our views across to doctors at home and abroad. The business of education in the doctor/patient relationship can be bidirectional, and there is a least one instance in which it ought to be. Ain’t that so Dr Kendrick?

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Yes, there is a strong and growing movements against ‘too much medicine’ which is very encouraging. I also think the BMJ is leading a revolution at present. All power to Fiona Godlee’s elbow

      Reply
    2. mikecawdery

      I have signed up with the BMJ as a “patient reviewer”. As an ex-QP-pharmacovigilance (veterinary) and having written many Pre-Clinical and Clinical sections and the required “expert reports” for veterinary drugs I feel reasonably qualified.

      Why do you not sign up as well? Just go to the BMJ website and it is well explainned.

      Reply
  19. S Jones

    I suspect this will come across as incredibly paranoid, however I do fear the following scenarios :

    1) Someone with life insurance who dies of a heart attack or stroke – the policy won’t pay out because the deceased refused statins.

    2) Someone buying travel insurance won’t be covered for heart attack or stroke abroad because they had refused statins.

    3) Someone suffering a heart attack or stroke won’t be treated by the NHS because they refused statins – they will have to pay instead. (This comment assumes that the NHS will last for more than another week or two.)

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      That is frightening, particularly as all three examples deny patients their right to make informed decisions on their treatment.
      Were they to come to pass, it would emphasize the “Big Brother” concept of herd treatment on the basis of doubtful and trivial associations

      Reply
    2. Flyinthesky

      I too have considered this aspect, my only conclusion is accept the diagnosis and prescription and don’t use it.
      We are all aware of how insurance companies work.

      Reply
    3. Christopher Palmer

      This may actually be the case in certain territories. Certainly there may be implications for the premiums charged. That what you prophesy is a prospect on its way is far from implausible.

      It is worth noting that an actuary (Garth Lane of reinsurance group RGA) published a review of the fat/cholesterol idea and mass ass-statin-ation in the UKs prominent actuarial journal, The Actuary Magazine.

      Online availability of this article has shifted URLs .. .. while here are links I managed to re-establish just now:

      http://www.theactuary.com/archive/old-articles/part-4/life-3A-heart-of-the-matter/

      Garth Lanes review directs the fat/cholesterol hypothesis is a load of nonsense and should not be applied with too much zeal (it should not be applied at all, ever, hardly). So, track to this, grab a copy, and have it ready to brow beat your insurance companies when they apply outrageous conditions or charges. They are (or would be) conspiring to defraud – so tell ’em plainly.

      The first step on route to founding the fat/cholesterol traces to early experiments involving the feeding of cholesterol to animals. These experiment have been criticised for aspects of their design (rabbits are not humans and would never ingest much cholesterol when feeding upon grass in the wild), this is pertinent critique. However it is not the most salient fact. The most salient fact is that Seifter’s work threw up an anomaly, and then work that then subsequently tried to resolve the anomaly identified a confounding error in all prior experiments in which cholesterol had been introduced to various animal species. Imai et al were the fisrt to show the limitations of prior work and write-ups (1976)

      Peng and Morin wrote up the tale of this confounding error (and plenty more info besides) in ‘BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS of CHOLESTEROL OXIDES (book; 1991), and while the book is now dated it is the best place to begin to become clearer about the confounding error and the citations and work that place this upon an evidential basis. I am currently teasing out the citations that best suit the purpose with a view to write-up of sorts and naturally some trawling of databases will be required to query the intervening years.

      The founder of the fat/cholesterol hypothesis had questionable integrity and acumen. He misused data on mortality and saturated fat consumption. And even before that step he was misled upon the nature and properties of cholesterol by a simple confounding error that remained undetected from 1913 to 1976.

      Cholesterol oxides are several (at least 49), and some have legitimate biological function that has been identified.

      However certain of the oxides of cholesterol stand out as being atherogenic. One or more of these certain most prominent atherogenic oxides of cholesterol caused atherosclerosis in Anitschkow’s experimental bunnies – and much the same in Seifters chickens. They are cholestane-3B,5a,6B-triol, 25-hydroxycholesterol, and 7-ketocholesterol.

      Now here’s a curious thing .. .. When cholesterol (which is all good) becomes oxidised to 25-hydroxycholesterol then 25-hydroxycholesterol appears to be a potent cytotoxin that can initiate the process of atherogenesis, but then in turn 25-hdroxycholesterol can be turned-over by an antioxidant process called sulphation (or similar). When this step happens sulphated 25-hydroxycholesterol has been identified as a possible active agent in defence and healing through toning down response (if I recall correctly) in macrophages – something reported by Ma et al.

      Once the labile nature of cholesterol was established, once the prospect of impurities in batch samples of cholesterol was better understood, once methods permitted the removal of impurities of from batch samples of cholesterol to result in pure and refined samples then the early results have only ever been replicated by the refined impurities of impure and unrefined ‘USP’ grade cholesterol. Since the labile nature of cholesterol was better understood and steps were taken to ensure the early and recurring confounding error was not repeated then CHOLESTEROL HAS NEVER BEEN INDICATED AS HAVING ANY CYTOTOXIC OR ATHEROGENIC PROPERTIES WHATSOEVER. This fact seems to have slipped of the radar of medical science.

      I pin my hopes upon restoring these facts back to the scientific radar as should apply to medical science. If anybody is already on with this, or feels they can assist feel free to make contact [cjp.321.321{a-t}gmail{d-o-t}net].

      Apologies for posting at length. However if the truth needs a bit of explanation blog/comment etiquette should not be a barrier.

      I am afraid Dr Kendrick that after reading that damned book of yours I too a have become a hostage to fortune; I’m tempted to burn it. I’m tempted to revert to being one of the faithful; for there is no denying life was easier back then, and I could sipping pastis (Pernod) on ice in the sun. 😉

      Reply
  20. JP Sand

    Dr. Kendrick,

    Thank you for your ongoing valiant efforts to burst the statin bubble. Toward that end, I was wondering whether it might be useful to pose the question: ARE STATINS LINKED TO A “TIME BOMB” EPIDEMIC OF LUNG DISEASE/PULMONARY FIBROSIS IN THE UK?

    In late March of this year, medical news outlets and mainstream media widely reported on an emerging “time bomb” epidemic of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF): an often fatal form of interstitial lung disease that causes inflammation and scarring of the lungs. At present, IPF causes 5,000 deaths a year in the UK and is increasing at a rate of 5,000 new cases annually. Moreover, the US reports that IPF causes 40,000 deaths a year and is increasing at a rate of 48,000 new cases annually. Professor Luca Richeld, a leading UK respiratory expert, has stated that IPF affects mainly men and former smokers, but can affect anyone and its cause is currently unknown. (See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2590672/The-UK-sitting-lung-disease-time-bomb-respiratory-expert-warns.html.)

    Further to the question of cause, it appears that reportage on this “epidemic” has made no reference to a number of recently published studies which have found that statins are associated with a dramatic increase in interstitial lung disease among certain users of these cholesterol-lowering drugs. For instance, a major investigation by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston studied 1,184 participants and found that among current and former smokers, STATIN USERS HAVE A 60% INCREASE IN INTERSTITIAL LUNG ABNORMALITIES (ILA) compared to other current and former smokers who did not take statins. (The study, had adjusted for numerous covariates, including coronary artery disease and high cholesterol.) Note that this study also analyzed the effects of statins in rodents and found that statin use worsened bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. For the full study see: “Statins May Increase Risk of Interstitial Lung Abnormalities in Smokers”, George R. Washko et al, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Jan 2012…(http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-01/ats-smi010312.php).

    Clarifying this evident link between worsening lung disease and statin use is of the utmost importance. As we know, 5 million people in the UK are currently taking statins and the number is expected to grow to 12 million under new guidelines. Likewise, in the US, 36 million people are currently taking statins and this number is expected to increase to 72 million under new guidelines. It should be emphasized that, under these new guidelines in both the US and the UK, a large increase in statin prescribing will occur among people who were previously considered at LOW risk under the previous guidelines. For further elucidation of risk versus benefit in this population, please see a New York Times editorial by cardiologist Rita F. Redberg (editor of JAMA Internal Medicine) and Harvard Professor John D. Abramson: “DON’T GIVE MORE PEOPLE STATINS”, 11/13/13…http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/opinion/dont-give-more-patients-statins.html?_r=0.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      I fear far more serious neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s(AD)
      Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2009;28:75–80
      DOI: 10.1159/000231980 Can be downloaded in full.
      Midlife Serum Cholesterol and Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia Three Decades Later
      Alina Solomon et al.
      This is an interesting paper that associates high cholesterol levels in mid-life with increased AD 2-3 decades later.

      Conspicuously the subsequent treatment is not given (the medical insurance company involved is not going to provide data that would affect their negotiations with Big Pharma on drug prices)

      However, if the row titles of tables 2-4 are changed from cholesterol levels to official US guideline reccommendations, the numbers do not change, the stats do not change but the interpretation certainly does. Statin treatment increases the incidence of AD!
      Not surprisingly this paper is rarely if ever cited by statin supportive reports. Dr John Ioannidis was certainly correct in his condemnation of medical research.JAMA. 2005;294:218-228; PLoS Med 2(8): e 124; Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011 Apr 4.; J Clin Epidemiol. 2011 Mar 29

      Reply
      1. JP Sand

        Reply to mikecawdery…

        Unfortunately, when it comes to statins, there is a prevailing mainstream consensus that a perceived benefit to the heart trumps any and all statin-induced harms to the rest of the body. There is a rudimentary logic to this, insofar as nothing is more fundamental to life than a beating heart and a pair of breathing lungs. Hence, the public and health care providers are not deterred by the prospect of statin-induced muscle damage, memory defects, mitochondrial dysfunction, etc. However, the public would most likely revolt, en masse, if they were made fully aware of ample evidence that statins are causing widespread and deadly damage to the lungs.

        Per my prior comment, this brings us to the role of statins in the emerging epidemic of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF): a usually fatal form of acute interstitial lung disease. NOTE: IPF causes an annual death toll that is equal to deaths from breast cancer. There is no known cure, and life expectancy for patients with IPF is between 3 and 5 years. As stated in my previous comment: “In the UK, IPF currently causes 5,000 deaths a year and is increasing at a rate of 5,000 new cases annually. Worse still, the US reports that IPF causes 40,000 deaths a year and is increasing at a rate of 48,000 new cases annually”.

        Please see this IPF news advisory with commentary from Professor Luca Richeld of the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust: “RESPIRATORY EXPERT WARNS UK IS SITTING ON LUNG DISEASE TIME BOMB”, [http://www.uhs.nhs.uk/AboutTheTrust/Newsandpublications/Latestnews/2014/Respiratory-expert-warns-UK-is-sitting-on-lung-disease-time-bomb.aspx].

        In summary then: the public urgently needs to be made aware that if they take statins in hopes of benefiting their hearts they may very well destroy their lungs and face a more immediate death in the process.

      2. mikecawdery

        Thank you for that. A useful addition to my collection of serious adverse reactions along with AD, CHF (CDC and NHBLI), devastating skeletal damage, kidney, diabetes, cataracts etc., etc. No wonder the pro-statin KOLs are waging such a campaign against the very thought of Statin adverse reactions!

    2. vjadams2014

      Last summer, after I had started taking statins, I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension – something that had not previously been picked up. In the autumn, that pulmonary hypertension was still evident. I stopped taking statins early this year – in February I think. I saw the cardiologist in June of this year, had an ECG and various other tests and was informed that the pulmonary hypertension had disappeared and all was normal. Now it might have been a false diagnosis in the first place, but I can’t help wondering what, assuming the diagnosis was accurate, caused both the occurrence and the disappearance of this condition.

      Reply
  21. dearieme

    Doctors might choose to dismiss morbidity problems but mortality problems are harder to disguise. How long, Doc, before appreciable numbers of people die from statins? After all, they impair your muscles, and what else is the heart? They impair your muscles; won’t you be more exposed to tumbling downstairs? And so on.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Statin drugs prevent heart disease. Very few doctors are going to sign a heart death warrant being due to statins. Yet some years ago both the US CDC and NHBLI both posted a claim that there was a serious epidemic of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). It did not last long – it was rapidly removed and this epidemic has disappeared from both websites. A US cardiologist has informed me that CHF is still increasing. But then the CDC and NHBLI are both hand-in-glove with Big Pharma

      Reply
  22. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    I came here again to your blog for some new comfort and found that in the last line of your new post.

    Thank you for that line!

    I am today also trying to find some comfort by acquiring “true knowledge” about the homeostatic of our bodies through reading Medical Physiology (Guyton and Hall). What is striking me all the time during this reading is the almost unbelievable complexity of what is going on in our bodies for keeping the balance of life. This also makes me wonder how on earth it could be possible to vilify cholesterol, being one of the most important and beneficial component in this intricate homeostatic machinery and to do that in the name of “science”.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Good on you. Indeed one just wonders what weird minds thought up disrupting the mevalonate metabolic pathway that has existed for billions of years. There is much advice to follow a good “diet” but it ignores many things including vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
      I wish you the very best in your research.

      Reply
  23. Suzanne Looms

    Dr Kendrick thank you for your continued efforts. It’s good to have somewhere to direct people who want to read more. I believe you are having a significant effect in the general population and amongst some medics. I recently visited my GP with a heart related issue and was delighted that no mention was made of a blood test for cholesterol or statins. That tells me that not all doctors are slaves to NICE guidelines.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      I note the Dr Kendrick was not a member of the NICE committee that produced this woeful DIRECTIVE (called “guideline” to protect the auuthors) nor any other opponent of statins. All that was wanted was a “consensus” to increase the treatable HERD.

      Reply
  24. Marie

    Thanks, Dr. Kendrick, for not giving up.

    You, and other memebers of http://www.thincs.org, are the reason my elderly mother is no longer on statins.

    She was suffering from sleeping problems, musclecramps, weakness and pains in her legs, but she endured because her GP was on the same kind of medication, a guarantee that it was something good/not harmful.

    My mother read Uffe Ravnskov´s first book and I translated lots of patient stories, mainly from http://www.spacedoc.net, http://www.askapatient.com and http://www.peoplespharmacy.com.
    .
    I wrote kind letters to her doctor and enclosed patient stories, but he,did not think mother should stop with the medication. She was 85 years at the time.

    When, she had got enough information through me (which she should have had from the doctor to begin with), she stopped (not suddenly).
    She just turned 94 and still finds life interesting.

    Once again – thanks ever so much – for all your work.
    I do my best to spread the message here in Sweden.

    Reply
  25. David Bailey

    It seems to me that one reason that the statin disaster has gone on so long, is that there is no effective way for researchers to track what happens to people who use particular drugs over long periods of time. Doctors look for side effects in the first few weeks of starting a new drug, and then more or less assume all is well!

    Researchers can’t access patients records for privacy reasons, but I wonder if it would be possible to create a scheme in which patients could consent to their records being used in their entirety for research. The data could be made anonymous, but with a way for a researcher to contact the patient if required. This would hopefully give far better side-effect data, and possibly reveal other connections – such as the suggested link between statins and heart failure.

    Could the NHS do it?

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Could the NHS do it?

      Indeed they could but a serious search of the NHS database(s) would cost lots. There were recent suggestions to open these databases for such searches but seem to have fallen due to personal privacy and Big Pharma searching for “commercial benefit” but ignoring ALL NEGATIVE DATA.

      I believe that only independent research into long term data will benefit patients by identifying both good and bad associations. That will NOT happen in the current situation where both the medical establishment and Big Pharma are intent on medicalizing the entire population1

      Reply
  26. BETHANNW

    i agree totally with all you have said in this and other pages, it makes my blood boil to hear what theae ”NICE” people have to say, the lies they say, is disgusting to hear, how on earth can ever trust our Drs AGAIN. If anyone ever read the leaflets that come in the box with all tablets it states quite categorically who should take certain prescription tablets. IE; under the blodd pressure tabs it says …………… ”YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD TO TAKE THESE BECAUSE YOU MUST HAVE HEART DISEASE–OR HAD A STROKE ”
    HOW ON EARTH WOULD A DR KNOW IF YOU HAD HEART DISEASE , all they do is to grab you the minute you walk in the door, and immediately take you blood pressure!!
    GOD SAVE US FROM ruthless doctors.

    Reply
  27. Christine Whitehead

    Could the NHS do it?

    I’m sure it could, David. I’m equally sure that it wouldn’t dare – or at least those responsible for the decisions would’t dare. There lies the big problem.

    Reply
  28. jojo

    We met up with my brother in law last night, he’s been on statins for several years and last year, had a minor heart attack – in his opinion it would have been worse without the statins, possibly even fatal. He’s a bit wobbly now and his legs ache, but its ok, his GP has given him some medication for that, so its not too bad as long as he rests. I dared to suggest it might be the statins causing it – but I’m not his GP and dont know what I’m talking about. Those statins saved his life in his opinion!!

    Reply
  29. Mark John

    If about half of people who have had heart attacks have low cholesterol, and about half have high cholesterol, then how can cholesterol have anything to do with the chances of having a heart attack?

    Moving onto your brother, if the above is true, then how can a statin act as a “volume control” or attenuator with regards to a heart attack’s severity?

    But, statins are about belief, not just among patients’ who are innocent in all of this nonsense, but among doctors’ who should know better – indeed should have a duty to know better.

    Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Indeed, the old placebo effect can be very effective, both positively and negatively as a certain Prof. successfully showed in a recent comment to you re statin intolerance. There is a study that demonstrated the placebo effect even when the recipients were informed that it was a placebo.

  30. LaurieELM

    Dear Christopher Palmer, tried to contact with email in your comment.
    Hi Christopher, I’m a regular reader of the Good Doc Kendrick.

    You bring up some fascinating points in your comment above.

    I work a bit with Stephanie Seneff (I know her, adore her and revel in reading anything she writes) and I recommend you read any of her many publications. She was the first to alert me to the concept that many DOCs (diseases of civ.) might be traced back to ‘cholesterol-sulfate’ deficiency. An idea I think she pretty much figured out in the first place- I believe it is her hypothesis.

    Also, a book by Dr Hannah Yoseph (self published) mentions the dangers of statins and that the penultimate ‘antioxidant’ (and don’t those babies get a lot of press) is………. daily fresh cholesterol (either ingested or manufactured- which virtually every one of our 50 trillion cells can be incuded to make- that’s how important- with the proper raw materials…..and no statin knocking down the ancient biochemical pathway!) Diatoms and cyanobacteria can make Vitamin D (cholesterol-like) for over 500 million years…..Yeah, modern Big Pharma- let’s knock that process back over the last 50 years. That will turn out well- NOT.

    I could go on, and I tend to, but look into these, PLEASE.

    Stephanie Seneff, Robert Davidson, and Luca Mascitelli, “Might cholesterol sulfate deficiency contribute to the development of autistic spectrum disorder?” Medical Hypotheses, 8, 213-217, 2012.
    Stephanie Seneff, Glyn Wainwright, and Luca Mascitelli, “Is the Metabolic Syndrome Caused by a High Fructose, and Relatively Low Fat, Low Cholesterol Diet?” Archives of Medical Science, 2011; 7, 1: 8-20; doi:10.5114/aoms.2011.20598
    Robert M. Davidson, and Stephanie Seneff, “The Initial Common Pathway of Inflammation, Disease, and Sudden Death,” Entropy 2012, 14, 1399-1442; doi:10.3390/e14081399
    Stephanie Seneff, Glyn Wainwright, and Luca Mascitelli, “Nutrition and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Detrimental Role of a High Carbohydrate Diet,” European Journal of Internal Medicine 22 (2011) 134-140; doi:10.1016/j.ejim.2010.12.017

    Her web page: http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/

    Reply
    1. Ash Simmonds

      So, more sulfur? Look around the net and seems everyone wants you eating “green cruciferous” veggies for it, hmm…

      –> http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/6/1636S.long

      “Methionine, cysteine, homocysteine, and taurine are the 4 common sulfur-containing amino acids, but only the first 2 are incorporated into proteins.”

      Those first two:

      Methionine, best sources: http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000084000000000000000.html

      * eggs
      * fish
      * chicken
      * meat in general

      Cysteine, best sources: http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000085000000000000000-1.html

      * eggs
      * beef
      * cottonseed (!)
      * pork

      The other two are reliant on eating plenty of meat and avoiding B deficiencies and such.

      What am I missing?

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        My favorite foods but Seneff also recommends bathing using MgSO4 in the bath. Cholesterol sulphate being the objective. A researcher that is well worth following on her web page.

  31. Fiona

    BBC R4’s ‘Inside Health’ yesterday 22 July, repeated today 15.30, was about as frustrating on statins and cholesterol as Dr Kendrick might have feared. In Radio Times we are told ‘Dr Mark Porter separates medical fact from fiction, clarifying health issues’. They need to be taken to task for this!

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Once people start defending, they have lost. However, rather like dinosaurs, it takes a long time for them to realise that they are dead.

      I care not about the likes of Mark Porter, they can prance around demonstrating about how scientific they are, like monkies dancing to the organ grinders tune, whilst the pharmaceutical industry chucks pennies at them to dance with ever greater fervour.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        Maybe the media’s worship of distorted/corrupted science will break on the statin issue.

        There are websites crammed with statin stories – some of them utterly heart rending.

        http://www.askapatient.com/viewrating.asp?drug=19766&name=ZOCOR

        Can’t someone accelerate the process by getting all the BBC top brass (most of whom must now be within the statin range) on Simvastatin (preferably 80 mg)!

        Once this explodes, the idea that scientists are automatically pure and free of corruption will seems as quaint as the idea that all Catholic priests are above suspicion!

      2. Fiona

        Trouble is, Auntie’s listeners are the ones being duped, not those of us who are able to read blogs like yours. How do we get at the gullible?

      3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Slowly, steadily, and by using the truth as the weapon of choice. I have been banging away on this for years, and gradually things are turning round. Almsot every journalist is now anti-statin, and I have got the president of the Royal College of Physicians on board (for example). Slowly slowly catchee monkey. The problem is that ideas are very hard things to kill. Being as they don’t really exist, except as electrical impulses inside people’s brains.

      4. Archie Robertson

        After an interesting correspondence, we thought we had opened Mark Porter’s eyes to the problems with low-fat diets, statins, and terrible research, four years ago. We wrote a brief note with some very specific criticisms of one of his Case Notes programmes, and were honoured to receive a polite reply, defending everything he and his contributors had said. He went further, suggesting that we should do our own research…
        We pointed out in return that we had been researching the topics of diet and health for over 20 years at that point, and provided chapter and verse for every one of our comments and criticisms. We received a very polite acknowledgement, saying that he had taken our criticisms on board; sadly, he seems not to have taken them to heart!

      5. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        He will change his mind publicly when it is politically expedient for him to do so i.e. once it is clear that we have won the war. ‘The king is dead, long live the King.’

  32. Jennifer

    Just caught up with BBC Case Notes propaganda for bad science. Just what are we to do regarding the dreadful state of the nation’s food supplies and reliance on quack medication? The population is sinking into a chasm of bad health promoted by big business. OK…..not everyone, but the masses are succumbing to the garbage, whilst some of the better informed intelligentsia, a small minority, manage to steer clear.
    For the last week I have been in a position to observe vast numbers of families going about their shopping. The school hols are under way, and the shopping trolleys are crammed with carb-high junk to push down their loved ones gullets. The obese adults are stressed to extremes, the kids are restless and crabby, and it seems evident to me we have just lost the plot!
    I would have hoped that the BBC could promote good science, but it seems that they are as bamboozled as the rest of us. And other mass media are little better….it is as though for each decent report on health management there are a dozen fancy stories to counteract it, promoted by big business/media.
    I am sorry to say I despair, and now feel like copping out of trying to get the good messages across to my loved ones….we have failed future generations.

    Reply
  33. Olivia

    Hi Dr Kendrick,

    This post is very timely for me. My 47 year old brother had bypass surgery recently, to replace 5 coronary arteries. Our father died of the same disease at the age of 57.with 3 blockages. Appart from the 10 year difference of disease onset, here are some striking differences in lifestyle.

    My brother was on the standard heart healthy diet has a desk job and runs for exercise and took statins for 15 years. He never smoked even 1 cigarette.

    Our father had a physical job, and was not afraid of saturared fat. He also smoked 2 packs of cigarettes per day and never took a statin. From this N=1 I would conclude that statins are more dangerous than cigarettes. Thanks for fighting the good fight!

    Reply
  34. Olivia

    I forgot to add that our family has heterozygous familial hypercholestrolemia. I am managing it with a low carb, high fat paleo style diet. 5 years ago, a fast CT showed mimimal plaque. I took statins very briefly years ago, but thankfully could not Tolerate them due to the side effect of depression.

    Do you have any further suggestions or insight about FH. Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      FH is held up as THE proof of the cholesterol hypothesis. However, people with FH live just as long as everyone else, suffer no symptoms from their ‘disease’ and appear less likely to get flu like illness. So, not a bad disease to have. There is some evidence that FH does lead to premature CVD. However, this evidence is highly subject to confirmation bias. By which I mean, someone has a heart attack when young, they are found to have FH. If you look around their relatives they, too, have FH and a high rate of CVD – case proven. Not really. It may be some other genetic ‘abnormality’ these people have that causes them to die of CVD. The FH is just a coincidental finding.

      Some years ago researchers decided to remove all possible confirmation bias by asking students (in the Netherlands) if they had a first degree relative – basically mother or father – with early death from heart disease (aged under 55). They then did a blood test to see if the student had FH. What they found was that in those who had a family history of early death from MI, the rate of FH was 1:500. in those with no family history of early death from MI, the rate of FH was 1:400. In short, FH bore no relation to a family history of premature CVD. This study was never published for reasons that no-one can explain

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Like many other studies that are NOT published. I tried to get a report by Dr Graveline published in PLOS on adverse reactions. It was rejected on the grounds that it was not relevant and unimportant.

      2. David Bailey

        Wow – I don’t know what the error bars are on those figures – but on the face of it, you are less likely to have an early heart attack if you have FH!

        That is quite incredible because I have noticed that quite a number of people on this site and another satin-relateted site say they have to keep on taking their statins (often despite side-effects) because they have FH!

        David

      3. Olivia

        Thanks Dr. Kendrick,
        This has been very helpful. I’ll just keep going as I have been and try not to worry about it while continuing to educate myself. I am toying with getting another fast CT in 3 more years (10 years after the last), more as proof to my family, that this is a non-disease, when one adopts a healthy life style. My only concern is if there is a possibility of a false positive result.

  35. Jennifer

    Dr Kendrick, this topic has further prompted me to recall my “statinization” history, and an alarming reason to justify eventual withdrawal from GP visits.
    I had been prescribed simvastatin, and submitted myself to the usual blood tests. I was notified that my new ‘script was ready, doubling the dose. I complied. Subsequently, a call saying ‘script was ready, doubling the dose. I complied. This occurred until I had a new script dispensed……Simvastatin 80mg in combination with 10mg Ezetimibe.
    Now, being retired from Nursing…..I was a little alarmed, so left the box unopened. I plucked up the courage to question the ‘script with the receptionist. Within minutes a GP phoned, telling me NOT to consume them, but to collect another one for Simvastatin 80mg on its own. (more cost, as I was under 60 at the time).
    I started to question the use of the statins, and withdrew from them without medical cover. On seeing GP for an unrelated topic, as I thought ( weariness, severe shoulder pain, nightmares, night cramps etc) I was told how silly I had been by withdrawing so suddenly (I agree), and advised to re-start statinization at 10mg….soon up to 20mg, then 40mg. Enough was enough…..diabetes, and the meds associated, was totally out of control; B/P and its associated meds…out of control. My health status abysmal.
    Fortunately, on questioning the GP, who admitted then that my questions were beyond their understanding, I was referred to an endocrinologist, who was good enough to discuss the issues with me, acknowledging that I was really rather intelligent(!). I was advised to continue Metformin 500mg, (down from 2g, plus 2 varieties of diabetes drugs) and to half the dose of my B/P drug, (I was taking 3 varieties at one time), then reduce statins gradually to minimise the impact on my system. But, I take nothing now.
    I wonder what would have happened if I had never questioned the combination script? Would I be here to tell the tale? So much for reporting detrimental side effects.
    I researched the effects of various foodstuffs, and now follow very low carb, high animal fat, (with added seeds for essential Omegas), and optimum quality proteins. All is well with my world, and many thanks to you and others on the internet, who have educated me recently.

    Reply
    1. Karen

      dear Jennifer thank you for sharing your story. there are alot of people who start taking pharmaceuticals and then find their health is going down the drain. I was one of them, I took a blood pressure medication my fasting blood sugar went from 91 to 393. long story short I stop the blood pressure medication and my blood sugar went back down to normal.

      Jennifer I don’t know how true this is but I will tell you what I have been reading. meeting measures for health over the last 50 years has been narrowed. Blood pressure used to be 100 pleasure age and that was considered normal. Fasting blood sugar below 200 used 2 be considered normal. Beware of the medications you are taking.

      by the way metformin is not as harmless as you think it is. It can cause arthritis. It’s happened to me and when I googled it phone that web md.com verified the connection between metformin and arthritis.

      I no longer use preventive medicine and do not go to my Dr for regular checkups. It feels to me that the check ups are for the doctor to spend time convincing you that you are sick you need to take pharmaceuticals. I still have health insurance and I do agree that going to the doctors at times as necessary but when you are sick.

      I eat lots of fruits and vegetables do organic as much as possible I do hope grains and high quality saturated fats. I feel so much better now than before I even got the medications which made me very very very ill.

      thank God for you you have a good mind and that you are not a shape I can tell that there’s a difference I’m sorry can tell when there is action and an effect… Side effect. to better health take care.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Karen, I am pleased that your health has improved by remaining away from Drs. That seems such a strange thing for me to say, doesn’t it?
        Having questioned the validity of my multiple meds, I researched Metformin for the fun of it, still believing it to be the innocuous, 1st line anti-diabetic medication we could use willy-nilly, …you know the feeling…..better to be safe than sorry…..but to my horror, discovered that it, too, was likely to be doing me no good either…..so I stopped that too, despite being advised to continue it.
        Proper food, in moderation, as we learned from our mothers and grannies, is the way to good health, and preventative medicine has no place in my life any longer…..the concept is a sham to line the pockets of big business.

      2. Karen

        Dear Jennifer

        Try taking bitter melon natural pills…also gymmena Sylvester lowers blood sugar and helps beta cells to regrow. Remember to check your blood sugar more frequently to get the proper dose
        As your body heals you’ll need less and less

        Also incorporate organic green smoothies with some fruit added on a daily basis to aid in the healing of your body.

        To your very good health.
        Karen

      3. mikecawdery

        Indeed metformin is not the wonder drug that it is promoted as. Currently, I am on dapagliflozin – supposed to increase glucose secretion via the kidney – so far no adverse reactions (I wish that people would use the proper term – not the euphemisms so loved by the establishment)

        I believe the hicarb/lofat diet was responsible for the diabetes – gained weight as soon as I went on it after 30 years stable weight. This lead on to statins and their adverse reactions.

        All this of course is due to the current practice of “diagnosis by herd” followed by treatment by Directive (called guidelines to protect the authors). Must be depressing for docs who want to practice proper medicine!

    2. Professor Göran Sjöberg

      Jennifer

      Congratulations to having fight your way out of the statins.

      If you have been trapped in the metabolic syndrome like you, myself and my wife it seems to be a very good approach to go very low carb as you have done. Me and my wife have excellent experience with health benefits from such an approach but as soon as we start cheating with carbs we are going down the slope again. Its a constant fight to be strict and too easy to cheat.

      There is a new and very solid survey article which illustrates the benefits of the low carb treatment for diabetics contrary to the official guidelines.

      http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(14)00332-3/fulltext

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Got this when I clicked on “No data received”

        http://loginptr.elsevierhealth.com/PhoenixWeb/PhoenixServlet?d=http://www.nutritionjrnl.com

        Further search got the following:
        Dietary Carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management. Critical review and evidence base
        Richard David Feinman, PhD, Wendy Knapp Pogozelski, PhD, et al
        Received 18 April 2014; received in revised form 28 June 2014; accepted 28 June 2014. published online 18 July 2014.
        Accepted Manuscript

        is this the paper?

      2. Jennifer

        Prof Sjoberg.
        Thankyou for this excellent link. I am pleased you and your wife are doing well with your regime. We are fortunate to have found a better way for the sake of our health.

      3. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        mikecawdery

        Thank you for highlighting!

        Yes – that is the paper and you find a hot debate around it when you Google; as always when you challenge “traditional high-carb” nutritional wisdom.

        To me the paper is a pretty solid support for the “success stories” me and my wife have experienced since heart disease and diabetes goes hand in hand and the paper also can make you understand how you can get rid of all the other metabolic syndrome ailments by the same token.

  36. Sally Wickenden

    I was interested in your reply to Olivia about FH. This is much more relevant today as FH can be accurately “diagnosed” using DNA testing. Also many parents have to make the very difficult decision about starting affected children (sometimes as young as 10) on statins as they are told by lipid clinics that this will be cardio protective for them.

    Reply
  37. Eddie Mitchell

    Thousands Sue for Damages Against Cholesterol Drugs as Big Pharma Defends Billion Dollar Industry !

    The $100 billion dollar cholesterol-lowering statin drug industry is under attack, as thousands of Americans are filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Lipitor. Research continues to confirm just how dangerous these drugs are, with yet another study published recently linking increased statin drug use to type 2 diabetes. Since the study was published by the American Diabetes Association, these known risks to cholesterol-lowering drugs can no longer be denied or defended, and the lawsuits are pouring in at a rapid pace. Most of the lawsuits at this point are from women who have suffered with diabetes as a result of taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, but lawsuits over breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, liver damage, and others may soon follow now that it is generally known how dangerous these drugs are.
    This information regarding a tsunami of lawsuits against cholesterol drug manufacturers has yet to be widely published by the mainstream media, however. To find out the magnitude of the lawsuits being filed against statin drug manufacturers, we turn to law firms who are reaping the fruit of litigation against Big Pharma.
    According to statistics supplied by various law firms, there were 464 claims filed against Lipitor as of April 15, 2014, which increased to 703 by May 15, and then to 846 by June 16. As of mid-July 2014 over 959 claims have been filed for damages due to Lipitor alone. There are also many claims currently filed against Crestor, the next nearest competitor to Lipitor, and undoubtedly other similar drugs now sold under generic labels. These lawsuits now number well over 1,000, and are increasing at a rapid pace.
    More on this latest story here, http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/thousands-sue-for-damages-against-cholesterol-drugs-as-big-pharma-defends-billion-dollar-industry/

    Kind regards Eddie

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      Eddie, this is most interesting. I understand why some people will go down the litigation pathway,…..especially outside UK…… and I wish them well. I understand the difficulties of suing doctors, but I cannot see the point of attacking an individual, especially as he/she would be able to show that they had been following guidelines imposed on them. However, taking on big Pharma sounds a good idea……but they are so wealthy and influential, the task seems impossible.
      What I wish to have for humanity in general, is better informed professionals who understand the Principles of Ethics associated with their chosen discipline. If that Utopian concept could be achieved, then our doctors, and all Professions Allied to Medicine, might be less inclined to sell their souls.
      But, Utopia, ( as I recall from distant school days), is an unachievable state, a bit like infinity, is it not? Still….I can go on wishing……….
      Apologies for not contributing to the brilliant research papers so kindly suggested on this site, but I only have my own personal experiences to tell, and trust they might be of help to the discussion.

      Reply
    2. Stephen Rhodes

      Not sure whether the Supreme Court judgement in 2013 – http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/q32013/supreme-court-rules-drug-companies-exempt-from-lawsuits/ – applies here or just to generics, it is a bit cloudy on that, but I had heard that the drug companies could no longer be sued for damage caused by their potions.

      Also at http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?60956-Supreme-Court-rules-Drug-Companies-exempt-from-Lawsuits with comments.

      Read it and weep, as they say!

      Reply
    3. mikecawdery

      Thanks for the link. Most useful.

      No wonder the likes of Prof. Sir Rory Collins have entered the fray so vigorously. When people realise that diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s are possible consequences, then the class action lawyers will really get going – bankrupting Big Pharma ???

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I would imagine that the law suits would be against the pharmaceutical companies who had patented the drugs e.g. Pfizer, AZ, Merck. Such suits can succeed, I believe. I think the supreme court ruling that you cannot sue manufacturers of generic drugs is, actually, logical – even fair. A generic drug manufacturer cannot make a drug until 22 years has passed from the original drug patent being granted. One would hope that any major problems with a drug would emerge over 22 years (of course this is not true, but one can hope). So, suing a generic manufacturer is somewhat unfair, they are making a drug that the FDA says is safe.

        It would make more sense to sue the FDA for failing to do their job. But I would imagine they are fully legally protected against their incompetence.

        Personally I think that law courts are the only place where the ‘truth’ may emerge, as the courts have the right to access all data (The FDA does not).

  38. Eddie Mitchell

    “However, taking on big Pharma sounds a good idea……but they are so wealthy and influential, the task seems impossible” Extremely difficult yes, but not impossible. Who would have thought a few years ago butter and saturated fats would be vindicated. Who would have thought we would be reading papers like this “Low carbohydrate diets should be the first point of attack in managing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests. The study suggests the need for a reappraisal of dietary guidelines due to the inability of current recommendations to control the epidemic of diabetes. The authors point to the specific failure of the prevailing low-fat diets to improve obesity, cardiovascular risk or general health, and to the persistent reports of serious side effects of commonly prescribed diabetes medications” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140724132354.htm

    Millions all over the world have been informed on the dangers of statins (thanks to blogs like this) Each day more Doctors and medical professionals are sticking their heads above the parapet. The cat is out of the bag, and it will never go back. Millions like us can grind the bad guys down. We fight for love and an honest cause, we cannot lose, just give it time.

    Kind regards Eddie

    Reply
  39. Maureen Harding

    Re J.P. Sands post on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and statins. I was diagnosed with IPF three years ago, and figure I’ve had it four or five years, just didn’t go to the doctors when I should have. I have never taken statins or smoked. I am 67.
    A diagnosis like this sure makes you sit up and take notice. After being told there was nothing to be done and I had maybe two or three years if I was lucky, I started doing lots of research. Not on IPF as what little I read was just too depressing. I researched general health and diet, thinking that it wouldn’t hurt to become as healthy as possible and maybe it would help.
    My strategy focuses on diet. Our diet consists of various meats and especially organ meats from organic grass fed animals where possible. Lots of tasty fats, especially good saturated fats, full fat dairy and limited fruit, mostly berries. We estimate the percentage of calories is 60 to 70% fat, the rest about 20% protein and a small amount of carbs.
    The outcome after 2 years is that we have both lost more than 20lbs (and weren’t really fat to begin with). The reflux that was plaguing me disappeared literally overnight. Gatric reflux is very common in IPF and is suspected of being one of the causes. (my Respirologist wanted to start me on P.P.I.s but I wanted to try the diet) he didn’t seem impressed when it worked. We both feel really well and have quite a lot of energy. My pulmonary function tests have improved slightly since diagnosis and there is no further advance of the disease on C.T. scan for three years. Our total cholesterol is high. I had a routine one done soon after starting the high fat low carb diet, and the locum physician was horrified, and was all prepared to start me on statins. Good thing I’d done some research and had read your book Dr. K. When I wouldn’t “co-operate” he made me promise to follow up with my G,P when she returned from holiday, which I did. Now, this physician is a gem, she listened to me and supports what I am doing. I am very lucky, it’s very good to have a physician you can trust.
    Now I can’t know for sure if my strategy is the reason for me doing so well, but I think so. I have limitions, especially going up inclines and I get more tired that I used to, but all in all feel very lucky to feel so well. If I hadn’t done my research I would have agreed to go on statins and after reading J.P. Sands post, that would have been disastrous. Thank you Dr. K!

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      Maureen,

      Your story is wonderfully encouraging, and I hope you continue to do well!

      It also illustrates all too well the strange state of medicine today – when doctors don’t always know best, and when you really have to explore the internet to discover the best approach to stay healthy (and of course there are also potential pitfalls in doing that!).

      One of the strangest things about statins, is the way doctors will suggest them even to people whose lives are at far more immediate risk from something else! They (should) know the side effects, and yet they want to start them or continue them in patients who may not have that long to live! I certainly hope you have many years to look forward to, but I am also sure the guy who wanted to put you on statins, took more notice of that original prediction of 2-3 years!

      I liked the way you combined smoking and statins in one sentence! I have never smoked, but I understand that when you stop, the withdrawal symptoms are pretty awful. I did take statins for 3 years, and they work the opposite way – when I stopped, I got a wonderful uplift as the symptoms I thought were something else, gradually melted away!

      Reply
  40. Paul helman

    Dr. Kendrick much thanks for you invaluable efforts to return the practice of medicine to some degree of rationality. As a practicing Internist since 1972 I have witnessed many developments of great value but a few that are not. Your writing has been invaluable in pointing out the crises we have allowed ourselves to be led into.
    Every morning when I prepare my eggs (no toast-thank you) I put on a cooking apron once presented to me by a representative of Thad esteemed Bayer corporation. It proudly de splays the name “Baycol”.
    I wish I could present “The Baycol Apron” award annually to some deserving “authority” pushing STATINS to even more inappropriate less!

    Reply
  41. Maureen Harding

    David, I agree, there are pitfalls in doing your own research and acting on what you learn, especially without a medical background. Although I was a critical care nurse for many years so have a lot of health care/nursing background. I was very sceptical about cholesterol from my work in Coronary Units right back to the 80’s. We all (nurses) commented to each other that there were as many people having heart attacks who had low cholesterol, as those who had high cholesterol, it didn’t seem logical. And having eventually found Dr. Kendricks book, things fell into place. When I saw the locum about my high cholesterol readings, it was like talking to the man in the moon. He looked blank when I pointed out how low the triglycerides were, and that was likely that the combination of very high HDL, low triglyerides, and high LDL likely meant that the LDLs were probably mostly the light and fluffy kind that are the beneficial kind.(According to Gary Taubes) But why was I arguing? It didn’t matter at all, I didn’t believe the cholesterol hypothesis and the whole thing was academic, that’s not what’s going to carry me off!
    I established rules in my research: be skeptical of authors who slam or insult others that they don’t agree with, and authors who don’t back up their statements, saying things like: it’s well established that…or studies show that..and those who had close ties to Big Pharma or who had something to sell, and so narrowed the list of researchers and physicians I could trust. Dr. Kendrick and Gary Taubes, Dr. Micheal Eades and others fall into that category. And I gave myself permission to go wrong sometimes, after all I have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and the medical establishment is offering nothing but bad news. Although recently there is a medication on the market for IPF, one of the side effects are acid reflux which I have just “cured” myself of. And the cost here in Ontario is $4000 a month, so that’s out of the question anyway. Although, even if I had the money I am not sure I would take that medication, I am doing well and don’t want to screw that up.
    It is very encouraging to read on this site from others who are taking control and responsibility for their health, makes me feel less of a heretic! Sorry, this post is a bit long.

    Reply
  42. James

    Hello Dr. Kendricks,

    Thank you for a superb blog.

    I had a bare metal stent place a bit over a year ago, and of course was prescribed statins, along with the usual plavix and aspirin. I was a good boy for six months and then stopped the statins after educating myself.

    I’ll go along with the Plavix for another 6 months, and then I’ll ask my Doc to discontinue–18 months should be enough. As for the aspirin, I don’t know. Is it really necessary to take this for the rest of my life? Even if I’ve improved my diet by eliminating the foods that spike insulin: all wheat products, all sugar? I do eat fruit, but no flavored drinks or desserts. I’m lazy about exercise, but I feel good. I’d love to have you opinion about the aspirin. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Karen

      aspirin has side effects. I was just for a while meaning for few weeks using it as a blood thinner because I believed I had a blood clot in my leg. One day I felt something warm and putty in my mouth. I decided to spit it out and it was bright red glob of blood. Then I remembered about the stomach bleeding and the damage It can do to intestinal lining and stopped. during that same period I was releasing a lot of gas as this was unusual. I took in some aloe vera hopefully to heal whatever internal damage had occurred. No more blood and gas.

      Reply
      1. Christopher Palmer

        I bought the paper edition of NS (2980). As is often the case with NS I found the article that attracted my attention didn’t justify parting with hard-earned cash.

        It is interesting that this kind of science journalism is now beginning to question the grounds for mass hysteric lipophobia (thinking fats in the diet are bad – with special emphasis upon saturated fats), and that in itself represents progress of a kind, but the author (was it Jon White?) didn’t really do any hard-edged research bar speaking with nutritionists who appear not to be so well informed as they could be. Hence the overall impression of the article was neither conclusive nor convincing and it left me feeling somewhat disappointed.

    1. James

      Much more cutting-edge nutrition at chriskresser.com, wholehealthsource.blogspot.com, cholesterol-and-health.com

      Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Thanks for the link. Having just had an idiopathic DVT I was wondering about fibrinolytics – Sodium pentosan polysulphate used to be used on the continent (still available in Germany) for this but is mostly used in the UK by vets for arthritis in dogs, cats, horses etc.

      Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Thanks for the link.
      You may be interested to read these two books by a US and a French cardiologist

      Sinatra, Stephen; Bowden, Jonny (2012-10-15). The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease-and the Statin-Free Plan That Will (p. 9). Creative Publishing International. Kindle Edition.

      de Lorgeril, Michel (2014-03-05). Cholesterol and statins: Sham science and bad medicine (Kindle Location 175). Thierry Souccar Publishnig. Kindle Edition.

      Reply
      1. Anne Watts

        Just reading the de Lorgeril book now, thanks for the reference. OMG! I have read a number of the cholesterol and statin books but this just tears into the statin trials.

    1. Jennifer

      Thanks Eddie, I appreciate people sharing this stuff, which I would otherwise never see. The photo if the woman in the article, holding her neck in obvious pain, could just as easily have been of me. I went to GP with such severe neck and arm pains imaginable……I had to stop driving as I could no longer turn my head for good observation, and I could not even carry my own handbag! I was advised to go swimming, get some anti-inflammatory gel, and ultimately self refer to a physiotherapist, who was unable to help, except advise that I stopped ironing clothes, as the action aggravated the problem…..I had news for her…..I had given up that practice as the prolonged pain prevented such activity. I even needed help with dressing and getting in and out of the bath.
      My point is…..neck and shoulder pain suggests a minor blip in the daily activities of living, but believe me…..it was having a major impact on my life style. It made me into an old woman and totally dependant on my husband for certain tasks. (I am now in excellent health, but he became so good at ironing…goody , goody).
      Even by reporting “neck pain” under “muscle pain”, does not tell the whole sorry tale for those suffering such adverse, devastating effects of statin toxicity. A couple of percentage points in a report in the journal article, is a piffling side issue, wouldn’t you agree?

      Reply
  43. lowcarbdiabetic

    Kenneth Rothweiler, Daniel Jeck, and Brian Hall recovered 2.5 million dollars for a Philadelphia man who sustained devastating injuries while taking the statin medication, Mevacor. After taking the drug for three years, he returned to his primary care doctor complaining of joint pain and trouble walking. The doctor ordered blood tests which showed, among other things, abnormally elevated enzymes indicative of muscle damage but no follow up was ordered. The defendant physician left for vacation and neglected to have anyone from his office follow up on the abnormal lab results.

    http://www.erlegal.com/Verdicts-Settlements/2-5-Million-Verdict-for-Client-Injured-by-Side-Effect-of-Medication-Unrecognized-by-Primary-Care-Physician.shtml

    Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Top Irish surgeon warns statins raise chances of cancer and Parkinson’s in otherwise healthy people

        http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/doctors-warning-cholesterol-drug-risks-being-ignored/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=doctors-warning-cholesterol-drug-risks-being-ignored

        But for an expose of skullduggery read de Lorgeril, Michel (2014-03-05). Cholesterol and statins: Sham science and bad medicine (Kindle Location 1722). Thierry Souccar Publishnig. Kindle Edition.

  44. lowcarbdiabetic

    Hi Jennifer

    No need to thank me, that’s the beauty of blogs and social media, we can all share links to information and talk about our experiences. A point I find sad is the fact that many in the medical profession right off lay peoples experience “it might work for you but it’s only anecdotal” etc. I hasten to add, not the owner of this blog. When I hear the same story from many people, especially on the subject of statins, I listen.

    Five or six years ago I purchased a copy of Dr. Kendricks book ‘The Great Cholesterol Con’ which I highly recommend. It was a huge eye opener for me, I was staggered at the skulduggery and antics that go on in the world of big pharma. I have also learned to follow the money, and time after time, it leads back to big pharma and junk food. In my entire life, I have never seen more effort put into selling a product, as I have seen with the colossal statin sell. When something has to be sold that hard, it should tell us all we need to know.

    Good luck and health to you and yours. Kind regards Eddie

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Thanks for the link. All this contrary evidence is building up.

      For an expose of skullduggery read de Lorgeril, Michel (2014-03-05). Cholesterol and statins: Sham science and bad medicine (Kindle Location 1722). Thierry Souccar Publishnig. Kindle Edition.

      It is frankly frightening as it raises the issue of flawed medical drug research across the board where Big Pharma and its KOLs are solely concerned about profits and status (honours, promotions etc.) and not about
      1) the effectiveness of a drug or
      2) the adverse reactions caused by the drug.

      In my view this is bringing disrepute on the medical profession, the vast majority of whom are working doctors who are doing their best for their patients but like them have been conned by false information.

      This is generating serious distrust in medical drug research which is not helped by inadequate supervisory legislation.

      Reply
  45. Fiona

    I recommend Christopher Palmer, or anyone else who has time, to make use of the facilities of their local library and go there to read journals like NS free.

    Reply
  46. mikecawdery

    Dr Kendrick
    Just came across this new adverse reaction to statins – further association with neurological damage. The “advice” is begining to unravel with a vengeance!

    Drug Saf. 2014 Jul 31. [Epub ahead of print]
    Association Between Statin Use and Bell’s Palsy: A Population-Based Study.
    Hung SH1, Wang LH, Lin HC, Chung SD.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25079142
    Abstract
    BACKGROUND:

    Several reports mention that statin (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor) use seems to be associated with several neurologic disorders and that the lipid-lowering effect of statins may contribute to some neural toxicity.
    OBJECTIVE:

    This study aimed to evaluate the association between statin use and Bell’s palsy using a population-based health insurance database.
    METHODS:

    This case-control study identified 1,977 subjects with Bell’s palsy as cases and 5,931 sex- and age-matched subjects without Bell’s palsy as controls from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000. Conditional logistic regressions was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95 % confidence interval (CI) for previous use of statins between the cases and controls. The associations of regular and irregular statin users with Bell’s palsy were further analyzed.
    RESULTS:

    By Chi-square test, there was a significant difference in the prevalence of statin use between cases and controls (23.2 vs. 16.4 %, p < 0.001). Conditional logistic regression analysis revealed that after adjusting for diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, the OR for prior statin use was 1.47 (95 % CI 1.28-1.69) for cases compared with controls. Bell's palsy was significantly associated with previous regular statin use (?60 days within 6 months) (adjusted OR: 1.46, 95 % CI 1.28-1.67). However, there was no increased adjusted OR of irregular statin use (<60 days within 6 months) for cases compared with controls (OR: 1.09, 95 % CI 0.82-1.46).
    CONCLUSIONS:

    Our present data suggest a potential association between regular statin use and Bell's palsy.

    Reply
  47. etiquette essentials

    The restaurant advertises “all you can eat sushi” for a fixed price.
    Here recently, I was on a five-hour flight from Honolulu to
    Los Angeles. One of the first golfing rules of etiquette and a very important one at that is -“To learn to play properly before going out on the golf course”.

    Reply
  48. paul soden

    You are an amazing breath of fresh air. I have been absorbed by your every word for four hours. I knew statins were a big pharma con , but different doctors keep telling me I have not choice. I knew a lot of what you wrote, esp the Linus Pauling vitamin c facts, but you have tied it all together for me and i shall spread the word . My own case is a bit different as i have been in the hospitality business for 40 years and consumed way too much alcohol, and i believe this is an underlying cause of my high cholesterol hdl 8 and my high triglyceride 11.2. And my gamma shows at 89 – 105 as a result of drinking. ( i have cut my alcohol consumption by 75% this last month) . I may be an exception , but i still do not believe statins will help me . However even a private doctor yesterday said statins is my only hope if lowering my cholesterol. We enough from me. I am 58. I thank you for your work and i wish you and all of us the best in continuing the fight against NICE and BIG PHARMA. Its not just statins. I watched my best friend go through hell within days of going on a new cancer drug trail funded by CANCER RESEARCH. And die in four months of hell. Made me wonder looking at him and the other patients if the whole thing was a con. All the best . Paul Soden.

    Reply
  49. Ron Logan

    Malcolm, I hope in your lowest moments you remember that there are many of us who are extremely greatful for the work you do. Donald Trump has proven that the PID (public idiot density) is quite high, but there are still seome of us out here willing to think. We just need some help with the digging.
    Many thanks.
    Ron- USA

    Reply

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