Attacking those who criticise statins – again

[First, I have not blogged for a while due to a significant illness in a close family member, so my time has been rather squeezed to zero. It is also hard to write unless my mind is 100% clear. Thing are now looking a lot better, on the illness front. Thanks to those who enquired if I was all right]

Here is the title of a paper which has just come out in the European Heart Journal. ‘Negative statin-related news stories decrease statin persistence and increase myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality: a nationwide prospective cohort study.’ Sune Fallgaard Nielsen and Børge Grønne Nordestgaard.

I was sent it before publication date to see what I made of it. Well, my first thought was that it bore amazing relationship to a paper published the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) which came out earlier this year1.

The Australian paper was written following two programmes aired on The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 2013, under the ‘Catalyst’ banner. The first programme criticised the diet-heart hypothesis of heart disease. The second was critical of statin over-prescribing. [I have written about this saga before a few times].

The Catalyst programmes were written and produced by Dr. Maryanne Demasi who was then attacked and hounded and virtually forced out of her job. I have an interest on this issue as I advised Maryanne on the programmes before they went out. I warned her that she would be amazed by the vitriol that would pour down upon her.

The most brutal attack came in the paper in the MJA called ‘The crux of the matter: did the ABC’s Catalyst program change statin use in Australia?’ Cutting through all the impenetrable statistical bollocks, and weird assumptions that were made by the authors, the key sentence is, as follows:

‘…this [the impact of the Catalyst programmes] could result in between 1522 and 2900 preventable, and potentially fatal, major vascular events.’

Taking this story down to its ineluctable essence, this is what happened

  • Maryanne Demasi wrote and produced a documentary critical of the over-prescribing of statins
  • The cardiovascular establishment in Australia was outraged and attacks rained down
  • Researchers (if they can be called that) tried to establish how many people may have stopped taking statins as a result of the programme
  • They concluded that tens of thousands of patients stopped, causing at least 1522 preventable deaths.

So, Maryanne Demasi killed at least fifteen hundred people? You think that too harsh a statement. Well that is the exact message these authors were trying promote, put into its starkest terms. This tale was commented on in ‘MJA insight’ a sister publication to the Medical Journal of Australia:

‘A SUSTAINED and significant decrease in overall statin dispensing, affecting more than 60 000 people, has been blamed on a 2013 episode of the ABC program Catalyst, which criticised statin medications.

Dr Jennifer Johns, a Melbourne cardiologist and president of the National Heart Foundation, told MJA InSight that while Catalyst was produced by a highly regarded and trusted network, the report on statins was “extremely misleading”.

“The program did get it wrong — and people believed it”, Dr Johns said.’ 2

Of course, the programme did not ‘get it wrong.’ The programme was balanced and… well, I am not going into all that again.

However, it seems that one statistically warped attack in an established medical journal is not enough. Now, a group of researchers in Denmark have gone one step further. They have looked at all the negative stories about statins over fifteen years and concluded that the 111 negative stories about statins resulted in a cumulative 9% increase in statin discontinuation. Resulting in, who knows, a million deaths? A billion. The entire population of the Earth?

‘The odds ratios for early statin discontinuation vs. continued use were 1.09 (95% confidence interval, 1.06–1.12) for negative statin-related news stories.’3

Of course, in the same time period, there were 731 positive statin studies (about one a week). So, how the hell they managed to disentangle the effect of a 111 negative studies against over seven hundred positive studies is anyone’s guess. I found the entire paper full of weird and completely unprovable assumptions. And, yet, still it got published.

However, despite its inherent nonsense, this study can now be used as ‘evidence’. Which means that anyone who dares to write anything critical of statins can be accused of killing people in their thousands, their hundreds of thousands. How long before any article critical of statins is banned? Not long, I suspect.

Scientific debate, dontcha just love it? ‘Love it, we are banning it. People will do as they are told!’

[The corresponding author of the Danish study was Børge Grønne Nordestgaard. Tel: +45 3868 3297, Email: boerge.nordestgaard@regionh.dk Perhaps you might like to write to him and ask him why he did this study, and what he wanted to happen as a result of it? What was its scientific purpose? Or you may have your own, far better, questions.]

 

1: https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2015/202/11/crux-matter-did-abcs-catalyst-program-change-statin-use-australia

2: https://www.mja.com.au/insight/2015/22/catalyst-effect

3: European Heart Journal doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehv641

118 thoughts on “Attacking those who criticise statins – again

  1. celia

    To quote an old song “When will they ever learn”?

    I’m glad to hear your family member is looking much better. All of us blog subscribers very much appreciate all you do, but family must come first.

    Best wishes.

    Reply
  2. Vanessa Windust

    My first thought was, will a great number of people who receive backhanders from the Big Pharma lose the majority of their secret income?

    Reply
  3. Leigh

    George Orwell said ‘In a time of Universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act’. Guess you’re a revolutionary, Doc. Long Live The Revolution! Where do I sign up?

    Reply
  4. Mike Bedford-Stradling

    I’m sure there’s room for a publication called “The JMB” aka “The Journal of Medical Bollocks” – and it needn’t be just statin related. Your frustration at such things must be mine to the power of 10!

    Reply
    1. Flyinthesky

      One could abbreviate to JB, journal of bollocks, it really does all work the same. And it doesn’t have to be medically related either. If we can monetise your fears or empower ourselves by them we, they, will.

      Reply
  5. Philip

    Remember the “Watergate affair” from about 40 years ago and the advice given by “deep throat”…..ie follow the money. For me this advice still holds good and could well be relevant to “Statingate”..

    Reply
  6. Jerome Burne

    The claim that putting out negative information about statins will result in people stopping taking statins and so lead to deaths was also used by Sir Rory Collins in the summer of last year when he rode out to attack the BMJ for running two articles that queried his estimates of the percentage of people suffering side effects from the drugs. The authors were accused in several outlets including the Guardian of being responsible for these people’s deaths.

    Subsequently Sir Rory revealed:
    a) that his organisation had received over 200 million pounds from leading statin manufacturer Merck for his research – the details of which no other researchers have been able to see because of the deal his organisation did with the drug companies .There is no evidence his affected his judgement…….
    b) that his organisation had not actually done the analysis required to give a proper assessment of the rate of side effects (actually a rough estimate since it would have been done of reports of commercial trials many of which did not record side effects)

    All of which makes it difficult to balance those who suffered from not taking statins and those who were save from suffering damaging side effects, not least developing diabetes.

    But there is a further difficulty with these calculations which Dr Kendrick has described eloquently in the past: statins don’t save lives since we all die (so stopping them can’t actually cause a person to die). What they may do is to increase lifespan. By how much? According to a recent study by (I haven’t checked) three or four days a year.

    A few more questions to ask the Danish researcher

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      David Evans has recently published a book containing 500 references to statin damage. Amazon Kindle was selling at £1 – don’t know how long it will remain at that price. A word of warning – unless the word “significantly” precedes the %age it may not be significant.

      Reply
  7. Jerome Burne

    Hi I posted a comment with some – i thought – interesting and additional details about Sir Rory Collins and killing allegations and also about statins side effects – but you system ate them – any way for you to recover them? Reluctant to redo
    Jerome

    Reply
  8. William Perkins

    Following a long discussion re the +s and -s of statins my cardiologist admitted he was a statin skeptic as well. However, he believes that there are secondary benefits (maybe) that justify their use. He recommended 25mg Pravachol along with a blood thinner and beta blocker, following a diagnosed silent heart attack. That was 4 months ago. Shortly after he requested a blood test and suggested the numbers looked good, but he recommended an increase to 75mg. statin. I responded with thank you, but no! I stopped taking the statin because I began to experience symptoms that are associated with statins. My next appt with cardiologist will be in 7 months. Can’t help but think that I will be fired as a patient! My decision was based on what I believe, based on reading the info produced by meta researchers and other qualified medical researchers.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
    1. Kathryn Bosse (Kathy)

      Good for you. A good Doctor told me to always go with your gut feeling. I do that now that I am much older and wiser. Follow the money … and say no to most drugs. They MAY and MAYBEs will kill you. Most of what research tells you is made up to MAKE MORE MONEY. i just came from the Doctor’s Office and a STATIN was on the menu. No thank you !!!!

      Reply
    2. K. Arman

      My third “Cardioligist” told me that if I didn’t take all the drugs he prescribed, he would not be my Cardioligist. Thats why I am on my fourth. After my MI (100%blocked LAD and stent) I was told I Would be on four medications for life. Was also told I needed two more stents and a ICD.
      Three years have past and I didn’t get any more stents, I didn’t get a ICD, and I take NO medications.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Arman,

        All my coronary arteries are more or less blocked!

        Especially the LAD according to the copy I have got of the records

        Still I have been refusing the by-pass and ALL medications for more than 16 years now.

        And again I had to go “my own way” after having fired my latest (last?) cardiologist when he told me, now two years ago, that he was not at all interested in what I had been up to during these years since my last visit at the hospital (he had not even found my records – unbelievable!) and that he actually considered it as an almost criminal activity what I have been doing.

        The reason I “went back” to the hospital was unstable angina but realised that only bottles and knives were around the corner so it just amounted to this one visit and then again I had to do my own “research”. This ended up with an alternative medical solution which by the way is not harmful; 1600 IU of natural (and this seems important) vitamin E.

        And even if I cannot prove anything about the E-vitamines I very seldom I experience any angina today except after very heavy exercise and they are all of a mild type in comparison.

        No money for the statin-peddlers from me!

        Funny lives we are living!

      1. Gerald

        why even go to the doctor, most preventable diseases are life style based.
        Gerald ( family doctor from holland) thanks for your insights

  9. Maureen Berry

    So glad to see you back, I was actually getting worried. But I despair about the future of Medecine / research. I had 2 of my posts on patient.info moderated / blocked today. In my opinion they were not at all controversial, I was simply advising (based on personal experience) that people should try lifestyle changes before accepting drug therapy, I would have thought that was an entirely a good thing! But apparently it doesn’t fit with the patient.info thinking. Statinate, statinate, statinate! And rejecting Ramipril and Amalodopine is not acceptable! I shall not bother posting on there again, I don’t have enough time! Keep strong Dr K, we nay sayers need you so much!

    Reply
  10. David Bailey

    I am sorry to hear about your family problems, but I am extremely glad to see you are back! I always worry that Big Pharma or the medical establishment will find a way to silence you!

    You never quote the number of page views you receive, but I’ll bet the figure is getting larger all the time!

    Reply
  11. crandreww1999

    Thanks for being one of the few doctors who really do put patients first! I was disabled at 34 due to the unpublished effects of these drugs…and only one doctor Id seen since then is aware of the plethora of dangerous ill effects the drugs can and often to have.

    Reply
  12. Gay Corran

    Very sorry to hear that the pause was because of family illness. Best wishes for full recovery, and glad you haven’t been decapitated by sticking your head too high above the parapet for safety. Your research and blogs are absolutely invaluable, and probably “save” more lives, and certainly make them more comfortable than any amount of statins, BP drugs, etc. Very glad to have the daily Kendrikana back.

    Reply
  13. crandreww1999

    Thanks Doc Kendrick for being the one in a million doctors who reads and discerns “scientific data” for himself. I was a 34 year old RN, when I became disabled in 2002, due to the unpublished effects these dangerous drugs can and do have. After firing 2 neurologists and an internist for their absolute hubris, I finally found a neurologist who does not prescribe statins but very very rarely. After a 28 day hospital stay where I was like a 90 year old with advanced alzhemer’s disease, not able to walk, nor speak coherently, I could not feed myself, and was incontinent of both bowel and bladder Brain biopsy revealed several holes in my brain Neuronal aptosis, electron microscopy revealed Mitochondrial anomaly most closely resembling Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy with Lactic Acidosis and Stroke Like Episodes (MELAS), It wasnt until I began a Mitochondrial Cocktail with a robust dose of CoQ10, when I began to answer simple questions, I was able to feed myself, walk with assist, and verbalize the need to use the bathroom. I was discharged with a diagnosis of Viral Encephalitis,.several weeks after discharge, I saw Dr Golomb being interviewed about a Statin Effects Study, which I enrolled in, and thanks to Dr Golomb, her study and Later to Dr Graveline, I discovered the Mito Mutation, Apoptosis were all caused by my Lipitor use. (Which has led me to become very skeptical of every pharmaceutical product on the market. Please keep up the great work!!!

    Reply
  14. Sylvia Dobson

    To be so vitriolic about another view of statins is unbelievably bad is it not. My husband was unwell soon after being prescribed them, GP was sympathetic to his refusal to continue. Recent bloods show my cholesterol raised, after health scare, prescribed statins. After discovering your blog and doing some research, I too will not take them. Not a scientific study in any way of course but we have friends who also had adverse effects, some do not, so surprised how many people are on them, but reaching a certain age brings you into this so called risky area. So must we all run with the herd and obey, no thank you. I am a retired nurse and still love to keep abreast of things. Drugs wonderful and save lives but sometimes no prescribing is appropriate. Regards and best wishes to your loved one. Lena. Sent from my iPad

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      Sylvia,

      You are so right – while I was still struggling with my mystery illness, a friend warned me that it might be statins, but I ignored her because she isn’t a doctor! After I recovered from the effects of statins, I found so many people with statin horror stories. I bumped into 3 people at the ice rink. One guy started explaining that he had had to stop skating for some time because of some intense muscle problems, and I said, “You aren’t by any chance taking….”, and he finished my sentence, “statins”. Another one had had memory and muscle problems! I’ve chatted with several people while walking the hills, it is simply amazing – everyone knows but the medical experts!

      Reply
  15. Trish

    Sorry to hear of the illness on the family front. BUT, glad to know situation has improved.
    AND, really pleased you put your family first before this blog.
    Makes me believe what you say even more…
    Ethics permeate people… You either have them or
    You don’t….

    Reply
  16. David Bailey

    Thanks for the email address – I have written to Børge Grønne Nordestgaard, describing my experience with Simvastatin!

    Reply
  17. Soul

    I can remember when one of the first Catalyst reports came out by Dr. Maryann Demasi and on an internet sight I visit was what I jokingly call a political officer – you have a different name for them in the UK, nudger possibly, that wasn’t the most pleasant about health information given on the sight. He or she seemed to have known Dr. Demasi in private life though, possibly before she became a reporter, and I remember it was a complete turn around. He thought well of the reports she made. It astonished me. I was joking to myself that someone must have hacked his account! The u-turn was short lived I’m afraid, the TV show love affair was brief, but it was odd and nice to see for me while it happened.

    I’m not the biggest fan of most reporters and news networks any longer, for multiple reasons, and I’m not surprised about the over the top attacks she has seen either, and not surprised about the desire to stop negative mentions on statins or any medications for that matter. In America we are coming to the end of the 150th Anniversary of our countries Civil War. Many blame the cotton trade and resulting slavery for causing America’s deadliest conflict as cotton made a small % but powerful and influential % of the population overly wealthy. I get the opinion in this age pharmaceutical firms hold a large influence over much of the economy.

    Reply
  18. Marcia Davis

    “A SUSTAINED and significant decrease in overall statin dispensing, affecting more than 60 000 people,” blah blah blah. More like it’s affected more than 60,000 pocketbooks – of pharmaceutical companies, no? Sheeeesh. Thanks for continuing to point out the obvious fact that no one (in the medical industrial complex, at any rate) wants this gravy-train of statin-prescriptions knocked off its profitable little track.

    Reply
  19. Frederica Huxley

    So glad that the crisis in the family is abating; I had wondered about your silence. Sir Rory’s tentacles permeate worldwide, driven by the pharmaceutical industry?

    Reply
      1. gillpurple

        Agree. Just reading one of UffeRavnskov’s books. It’s very good. Having read our good Dr K’s book as well I veer between amazement that this con hasn’t blown up yet and despair about how many lives are being negatively impacted by statins. Good news that some patients in Australia have seen the light.

  20. Gary

    Quashing dissent is precisely what they are trying to do; here in the U.S. dissent concerning the CDC vaccination schedule is simply not permitted. Same thing. Same motivation. An act of desperation to protect vast profits, because people are waking up to the medical (and nutritional) quackery inflicted upon them by government/industry (they are joined at the hip), and “scientists” who value career and status more than credibility or public health.

    Reply
    1. Hugh Mannity

      Quashing dissent is the flavour of the month in all sorts of areas.

      Want to eat a LCHF diet to manage your diabetes without drugs? Don’t recommend it on the internet or the ADA will be after you (Happened to a friend of mine in North Carolina).

      Got questions about climate change? Think that the anthropogenic aspect is relatively insignificant? Must be a denier.

      Concerned that the US (and other) governments response to terrorism is creating more terrorists? Then you must be a terrorist sympathiser.

      Wonder why, if the economy is doing so well and unemployment is down, why you’re worse off and so many people you know aren’t working? What kind of conspiracy theorist are you anyway?

      Move along now, citizen, nothing to see here…

      Reply
    2. John U

      I think there is a big difference between the heart/cholesterol issue and vaccines. There are excellent results with vaccines and admittedly extremely rare side effects. And scientific plausibiliiy is genuine. Not so with statins and cholesterol.

      Reply
      1. Anna

        Hmm, well, I’ve been vaccinated against measles 3 times in my life, and a recent titer shows I have no immunity. My older siblings all got measles. They don’t have to worry. I have a good immune system. But the vaccines don’t really work like getting the disease. Therefore, I think we should go back to the vaccination schedule of 50 years ago and stop immunizing against things like measles and chicken pox and flu and etc.

  21. Malcolm

    I wonder how many people have died as a direct result of the ridiculously positive press that has been given to the ‘life-saving’ statin drugs. It would seem churlish to attempt to calculate this although we know that it happens.
    I am guessing that Nielsen, Nordestgaard and Johns are content to provide their proclamations at your 4th level of evidence – “Who the hell does Maryanne Demasi think she is to disagree with us?”

    Reply
  22. Sean Coyne

    Interesting article relating to this in far off Tasmania, Australia. Always ask yourself, cui bono?

    _________________________________________
    UK health expert slams statin research

    http://www.themercury.com.au/news/breaking-news/uk-health-expert-slams-statin-research/news-story/88d6bdde1ad655b08604ec0e922bfde2

    A major row has erupted over conflict of interest claims involving a study linking negative news stories about statins with an increased risk of heart attacks and death.

    One of the study’s two authors, Danish scientist Professor Borge Nordestgaard, has admitted receiving consultancy fees and lecture payments from a host of drug companies.

    Among them are AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Merck – all major producers of the cholesterol-lowering drugs taken by millions of people.

    The disclosure, made in a brief conflict of interest statement at the end of the research paper, prompted a withering response from a doctors’ leader.

    Dr Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA), said: “We need doctors to concentrate on research that matters to patients, not their careers or the advance of drug companies.
    “The existence of a conflict of interest tends to create the appearance of bias even if the person with the conflict of interest acts completely impartially. In this study, the bias is very apparent.”

    Dr Chand, who was representing his own views and not those of the BMA, is an outspoken critic of what he regards as industry-driven hype surrounding statins.

    The study is reported in the European Heart Journal, a highly respected publication, and was independently funded.

    It is based on an analysis of data from 674,000 Danes aged 40 and over who were using statins between January 1995 and December 2010.

    Their progress was followed until the end of 2011 and compared with trends in media coverage relating to statins.

    The authors found a correlation between negative news stories about the medicines and people stopping their statin treatment within six months of a first prescription.

    This in turn was associated a higher risk of heart attacks and deaths from cardiovascular disease.

    Prof Nordestgaard, chief physician at Copenhagen University Hospital, said: “People who stop statins early have a 26 per cent increased risk of a heart attack and an 18 per cent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease when compared to people who continue to use them.

    “Although we cannot say for sure that statin-related negative news stories cause the early discontinuation of statins, our findings suggest that this is likely. And although this type of association research cannot prove causality, our data suggest that early discontinuation of statins leads to unnecessary heart attacks and deaths from cardiovascular disease.”

    Statins are considered to be generally safe but can cause side effects in some patients including muscle pains and, rarely, a serious condition called rhabdomyolysis which destroys muscle fibres.

    The other author who carried out the work with Prof Nordestgaard was Dr Sune Nielson, also from Copenhagen University Hospital.

    Both made an obligatory conflict of interest statement at the end of the study. In relation to Dr Nielson, there were said to be “no financial or other conflicts of interest”.

    However, Prof Nordestgaard owned up to having received “consultancy fees and/or lecture honoraries” from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Merck, Amgen, Sanofi, Regeneron, Omthera, Dezima, ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Aegerion, Fresenius, B. Braun, Kaneka, Lilly, Kowa and Denka Seiden.

    Dr Chand argued the conclusions of the study were “very misleading” and detracted from the real issues surrounding statins – lack of transparency over the drugs’ side effects and the fact that their benefits have been “grossly exaggerated”.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Thanks for your comment and link.

      26 per cent increased risk of a heart attack and an 18 per cent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease

      One suspects these percentages are relative rather lke the HPS 17% and are simply hiding the real trivial %ages.

      Reply
  23. rnspainter

    Hi Malcolm

    Great article again – and hope your family member is better now.

    Someone seems to have investigated the author of this paper as I see in today’s Daily Mail (yes I know – not the most reliable scientific journal!) an article exposing him for receiving grants from the statin makers!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3342081/Ignore-statins-scare-stories-says-expert-paid-drug-firms-professor-fire-pushing-benefits-drugs-pocketing-thousands.html

    All the best

    Richard

    Reply
  24. foodnstuff

    I flipped through the AMJ study briefly. They use the terms ‘could’ and ‘may’, but don’t say (because they don’t know) how many people actually died because they stopped taking their statins. All too airy-fairy for me. I’ll continue to get my medical info from your blog. Thank you for it.

    Reply
  25. Bryan Hemming

    Ever get the feeling the death of someone knocked down by a car, soon after they stop taking statins, will be blamed on that choice?

    I stopped taking statins a couple of years ago because of the pains they caused in my legs after ten or so minutes of the brisk twenty-minute walk I have been advised I need each day to keep my heart healthy. I no longer suffer from that side-effect.

    For what my opinion is worth, statins could also have been responsible for the bouts of depression I suffered while on them.

    Too many people on statins don´t walk enough, or often enough, to realise how bad the leg pains can be. Taking statins alone will certainly not help prevent heart disease, they have to be taken as part of a stricter regimen. And by stricter I mean not jumping into a car at the drop of a hat, drinking less alcohol, not smoking at all and eating real food instead of processed food.

    Until research factors in lifestyle far more, these deaths can not just be attributed to the decision to stop taking statins. To suggest otherwise is highly irresponsible. We all die at some point, but to many, quality of life is more important than quantity.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Dr Golomb UCSD has shown that depression, self-harm, prone to accidents and suicide are associated with statin use but the experts are blind to adverse reactions of any kind

      Reply
      1. Susan

        Some years ago now, my husband was taking a statin. I questioned the doctor as to whether his depression and aggession might be caused by the statin. He laughed, looked up the listed adverse effects in his trusty PDR, and said, “nope. It’s not listed as a side effect, so it’s unrelated.” We stopped them anyway and my husband did better. And he’s still alive, without the statins. Imagine that.

  26. Nigella Pressland

    Great to see you back Dr Kendrick. The statin tale is a sad one & reminds me enormously over the discrediting of natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) medication to ensure that the new drug Levothyroxine was seen as the preferable medication. Want to guess who was busy discrediting NDT, a medicine that had worked really well for decades? Why the manufacturer of levothyroxine of course! Somehow, the financial interests of drug manufacturers need to be separated from medical research – otherwise we are never going to know the truth about efficacy of medicines.

    Reply
  27. HotScot

    Glad to hear your family illness is resolved. Hope it had nothing to do with statins!

    It comes as no surprise that Dr. Maryanne Demasi was condemned by the conventional medical community.

    I have been following the climate change debate and despite considerable factual evidence that IPCC predictions of climatic global disaster are failing, I believe representation was made to President Obama, no less, by some eminent ‘scientists’ to outlaw, and criminalise those who dared publish papers to refute climate change dogma.

    Being that the climate change movement is now largely driven by politicians and those with considerable interest in the $1.5 Trillion business that has sprung up because of it, we can expect no less of the statin lobby.

    Whilst I don’t want to detract from the subject of statins I’ll make an observation on the collective madness of science. As far as I understand, climate change can be summarised thus. The dominant greenhouse gas is?…..Yes, atmospheric water vapour, comprising 95% of all atmospheric gases. Anthropogenic CO2 is estimated at around 3% of the remaining 5%, about 0.015% (0.0015%?) of total gases. Yet CO2 is wholly blamed for climate change. How mad is that?

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      I share your doubts. Until someone can explain to me the five ice ages with the interglacial warming periods without a human in sight or a CO2 association I will believe in natural cycles. Yes global warming exists; this is the fifth time it has happened and I suspect that puny man can do nothing to change its course

      Reply
  28. Antonio Reis

    Yes, when people who have scientific arguments are accused of contributing to the death of thousands of patients it is intellectual terrorism. The totalitarian thinking of this particular medical establishment inhibits scientific development and the search for better solutions. That particular “medical establishment” behaves like the Inquisition condemning the heretics and as a “Big Brother” to which is supposed to be entrusted all decisions relating to the health of the herd.
    And the question is: how many preventable deaths are due to iatrogenic causes?

    Reply
  29. Nina Cobalt

    ‘MD, consultant Børge Grønne Nordestgaard is employed as a clinical professor of genetic epidemiology at the clinical department of diagnostic disciplines, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen. In adddition to the professorship, he has a position as head doctor at the county hospital in Herlev.’ Sounds like a Rory Collins clone to me. He’s co-author of a textbook on diagnostics. One article I found that mentions him extols the virtues of a revolutionary heart medicine (that lowers cholesterol) and is 200 times more expensive than existing varieties. Hmm I wonder what that could be? http://www.dr.dk/nyheder/indland/revolutionerende-hjertemedicin-er-200-gange-dyrere-end-eksisterende-typer

    He’s also co-author of a paper on elevated c-reactive protein, depression, somatic diseases and all-cause mortality. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26250741

    Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2015 16:47:02 +0000 To: nina_cobalt@hotmail.co.uk

    Reply
  30. Flyinthesky

    When you don’t post, recent understandable circumstances aside, can you post I’m not posting posts, I always fear you’ve been got at.

    Reply
    1. Old fogey

      I’m always accused by my husband as being a terrible pessimist, but in this instance I seem to have been the greatest of optimists as I was picturing Dr. Kendrick enjoying himself on a long and well-deserved vacation with his family in the Caribbean.

      There is still time to book a nice winter visit to Old San Juan, Dr. Kendrick. I strongly recommend it for the beauty of the surroundings and the dazzling sunshine which has got to be good for everyone’s health and well-being.. .

      Reply
  31. Rapunzel

    Ave Doctor Malcolm ! You keep posting, I’ll keep reading and refusing statins and at least my quality of life is good.

    I hope that MaryAnne Demarsi is as appreciated in Australia as you are here, by the patient patients, waiting for the tide to turn your way.

    Reply
  32. Fiona

    I add my warmest wishes to Malcolm Kendrick to those of you who have already done so.

    However, I owe him special thanks as well for a wonderful talk he gave here in London recently to the Conway Hall Ethical Society. I was very proud to have been the person who, as a devoted reader of his blogs, suggested we invite him to lecture to us: I can assure you that I and the many questioners were not disappointed!

    Reply
  33. António Heitor Reis

    Business as usual…
    My mother (85 y) is in a retirement home. Her roomate who is 97 y old was put on statins about 2 years ago. Her only known “disease” is “high cholesterol”. Needless to say that she is a healthy person and physically active. In my opinion her “high cholesterol” is highly accountable for her healthy 97 years.

    Reply
    1. Sylvia

      Genetics aside, if you live to such an old age and are relatively healthy, a person must have been doing something right. Intervene to do what exactly. I hope my family will just bring me a Guinness, make me laugh. But I hope to be lucky enough to stay home, quick end.
      Hope I don’t offend. Love your blog Dr Kendrick, catching up on it all.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Guinness is great stuff. Used to recommend it as a tonic for cattle recovering from redwater (Babesiosis) . But that was many decades ago.

    2. crandreww1999

      Antonio, I am sorry to hear your mothers room mate is being “treated” with statins at 97…Never has any Woman proven to benefit from a statin, and any elderly person, male or female…I find it absolutely appaling that doctors dole these dangerous drugs like tic tac candies, and when you are faced with a horrible ill effect, they wash their hands of you and utter the famous words “statins dont do that”…

      Reply
  34. mikecawdery

    Dr Kendrick,

    I did wonder about the absence of a blog and I am delighted to hear of the highly satisfactory resolution. I sincerely hope your relative continues to improve.

    Attacking those who criticise statins – again

    It seems that the medical research establishment is unable to discuss the problem. They are clearly unable to refute the huge negative literature base that shows that their dogma is very seriously flawed.

    As an example I return to the HPS. Even the public statement “Treat 3 million, “save” 10 thousand lives” per year which reduces to 1 in 300 treated (statin tolerant with MI or very seriously at risk patients) will benefit p.a.. Insofar as an individual patient is concerned this is probability of benefit = 0.003. Now, to turn this view on its head the probability of NO BENEFIT is 299/300; p = 0.99666667 or,
    rounded to 2 decimal places p = 1.00, ie approaching certainty of No Benefit; and this from a major, very large RCT. One just wonders at the IQ of these people. They seem so determined to view people as a HERD and to ignore individuals, and to ignore the damage they cause.

    I was intrigued when looking at the cited articles. In particular the paper by Navarese, BMJ 2015;350:h1618 and also cited in the ESC guidelines. Fig 1 A wonderful display of “no benefits” until all groups added together to demonstrate a efficacy rate at 12 month (MI catergory) of 0.01496 (ie 1.5%) – In short, until huge numbers are involved there is no significant benefit, thus demonstrating a tiny, trivial benefit involved from which the individual patient is unlikely to benefit. Do they not see this or do they concentrate solely on obtaining a “statistically significant result” to sell drugs? Another example of HPS statistical strategy.

    Reply
  35. Hugh Mannity

    Glad your family member is recovering. I was beginning to be concerned that TPTB might have found a way to nobble you.

    Reply
  36. Pauline

    Grrr! It’s impossible to prove the authors wrong when they say people will suffer because they threw away their statins – because we are talking purely hypothetical deaths at this point, something that they predict will happen. If they studied how actual deaths from heart disease related to statin prescribing, now that would make for interesting reading.

    Interestingly the authors also point out that statins are overused in low-risk groups, and speculate that the discontinuation may occur mainly in this group. If that’s the case, then the impact would be much lower, and might even be positive, given that statin users can die from other causes too. Not putting any numbers on that scenario makes the article rather one-sided.

    Reply
  37. mikecawdery

    Dr Kendrick

    As an afterthought, why do you not make a collection of your blogs and publish them in book form, I for one, would be only too pleased to buy a copy. It is an unfortunate fact of life that responsible people like your good-self tend to be excluded and books (not subject to so-called peer and biased) review get through. I can think of several books by your Thincs colleagues,

    Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        I sincerely think you should. After all you must have spent a lot of time over the years so it is really only a matter of collecting the blogs and putting them in chapters based on subject.

        Go on have a go!

  38. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    I realise now that I was not the only one seriously concerned about your absence for a while. Dark thoughts easily take hold of you and I don’t want to lose my second home 🙂

    Your consistent courage now inspires me for my public talk on December 10 where I will tell about my own successful 16 year refusal of by-pass and all other medical offers and where LCHF may be a way to address the cause instead and a path to follow for health and where accepting the saturated fats and the cholesterol as being among the best thing to feed yourself with is important.

    During the second part of my talk I will go for BigPharma and will introduce this part by pointing to those many millions of documented deaths depending on the “care” given in their name where killing the cholesterol is just one part. Uffe Ravnskov had a look on that part of my slide show and very encouraging said he couldn’t do that better except he thought I could also add impotence as an additional side effect.

    Reply
    1. Gay Corran

      Good luck with your talk, Goran. The world needs people like you and Dr Kendrick to tell the truth, in public, and to withstand the bullying from the “establishment” which may follow. I admire your courage and energy.

      Reply
    2. Hugh Mannity

      “impotence as an additional side effect.”

      I don’t suppose the manufacturers of statins also make Viagra and Cialis. Do you suppose that the rise of impotence in middle-aged men has been caused in large part by statins?

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Impotence is something very little is talked about. It is NOT a subject that Big Pharma likes; if proven it could cost $billions. But impotence is not drug associated it is another money maker and Pfizer has statins and Viagra

  39. Jean Humphreys

    Sorry to hear the reason for your absence, and glad that it is improving.
    When you were away so long, I thought maybe, holiday. Then I thought at this time of year?, and began to worry that the secret police had come for you.
    Good to have you back.

    Reply
  40. Lisa Bloomquist

    Well, this pissed me off.

    Comment when I posted it – “WORDS do not kill people. IDEAS do not kill people. QUESTIONS do not kill people. I suppose that studies could kill people, but the study in question certainly didn’t. PHARMACEUTICALS can, and do, kill people. To accuse a scientist who questioned the appropriateness of prescribing statins to millions of people of, essentially, murder, is ridiculous and it is wrong. THIS is how the pharmaceutical, and medical, system/industry is suppressing free speech and getting in the way of honest scientific inquiry.”

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Starbridge B JAMA, July 26, 2000—Vol 284, No. 4
      US estimates8-10 of the combined effect of errors and adverse effects that occur because of iatrogenic damage
      not associated with recognizable error include:
      • 12000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery
      • 7000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals
      • 20000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals
      • 80000 deaths/year from nosocomial infections in
      hospitals
      • 106000 deaths/year from nonerror, adverse effects
      of medications
      These total to 225000 deaths per year from iatrogenic
      causes.
      And there are other reports that suggest these numbers are an underestimate

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Goran

        That sounds wonderful. There is an excellent book by Dean MD ND, Carolyn (2012-10-11). Death by Modern Medicine: Seeking Safe Solutions While I suspect that the 700,000+ estimate is an overestimate, the references included include those from top medical journals such as the NEJM, JAMA, Archives of Internal Medicine, et al.

        Good Luck on your lecture. May I suggest that you apply to the BMJ to be a patient reviewer – your expertise would be invaluable to them

  41. David Bailey

    I sent the author of the paper a description of my statin experience, including an explanation of why I could have blamed the problem on Post Polio Syndrome, rather than on statins. This was his reply:

    Dear David.
    Many thanks for sharing your story.
    Best regards,
    Borge

    It is a slightly better response than Rory Collins gave me, but it doesn’t say much for their integrity that they aren’t concerned about the potentially catastrophic problems with statins.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      David,

      I often refrain from getting in touch with people of this kind although it happens sometimes.

      If they respond as Rory Collins they are left with the shame of their arrogance – but of course he is SIR Rory Collins so he can perhaps get away with this arrogance. This Danish guy can perhaps not afford such an attitude if it goes public on a blog like this so I guess he brush it off your input with a “polite” “Many thanks..”

      My guess is that all of these guys have grown immune to any deep criticism – they just believe they are right and not the least interested in any serious objections. As always the similarities between dogmatic religion an medicine is more than striking to me.

      As a little off topic I just now communicate with a professor of molecular biology in Sweden advocating the GMO crops which I myself as with the statins have turned very alarmed about lately. To my surprise he is taking me seriously but I guess that this is simply due to the fact that I was myself a professor at a well renowned Swedish University although in metallurgy, thus far from his field but though pretty well read in his old field of the molecular biology of the cell having spent some time during a few years digging into such stuff. My guess is that he also will dig himself down in the course of our communication and finally not respond to any further “impertinent” well informed E-mails. We’ll see. As you I am also to some extent going public with our conversation among people who like me do not believe in any benefits from the GMO.

      There are many hot topics around.

      Reply
  42. Stipetic

    26 per cent increased risk of a heart attack and an 18 per cent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease

    It’s not clear to me. Do the authors mention whether the risk is spread even over the extra 3 to 4 days of life chronic statin use provides or is it averaged to 2 days? And does the 18% increase risk of dying from cardiovascular disease imply there is an 18% decrease in the risk of dying from cancer? It’s all a little confusing.

    Reply
      1. David Bailey

        It is an interesting hypothetical question as to what I would do if the risk of not taking statins was as great as those figures are meant to suggest. In my case at least, I’d still not take them – the risk to my entire life style would be too great!

  43. Colombo

    Good to read you again.

    Attackers are either worried about the health of the people who refuse statins, or worried about their incomes. The first group do not deserve as much punishment as the second group. But they should start catching up with reality, for the sake of people who still take statins. The second group will never stop lying. Perhaps they change what they lie about, but I would be surprised if they changed their vocation. No quarter.

    Lies are the worst addiction.

    Reply
  44. Soul

    Here of late I’ve been reading books on the troubles seen in medical pharmaceutical research, in part I’ve been doing that from materials read here on the sight, but also due to a new neighbor that moved in next to my parents place. My reading includes Marcia Angell’s book and now I am onto Peter Gotzsche’s, Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime. The new neighbor I’ve been told used to be a big, well known name in the medical research pharmaceutical field, working at Pfizer, which according to one of the authors was the most troubling aggressive pharmaceutical firms. I thought it might be fun to learn more about the industry he worked in, and at one of the many neighborhood gatherings I would have something to talk to him about, pleasantly. I thought it would be fascinating to hear what he thought of the industry, it’s troubles and even its good, now that he is retired. I’ve learned that is not to be though. The neighbor is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. He is a shell of the man he used to be. I wouldn’t have guessed as I see him about everyday, in which we exchange waves as I drive by while he walks his cute dogs.

    He’s another guy missing his ass that has lost his mind too I’ve noticed! Not exactly scientific but when I would visit my grandmother in the nursing home I observed those with the most dementia were all missing their rear end. I’m sure in theory that observation would not pass the scientific mustard, but from the reading done on the way research is handled those days, if a drug firm created a drug that increased the size of ones buttocks I suspect Alzheimer’s disease would be declared cured.

    Reply
    1. Stephen T

      Maureen, thanks for the article on Tim Noakes. I thought they’d have the sense to drop this. What a ludicrous hearing about a tweet.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        John U

        I regularly have a go at them. I even send them copies of their own deleted claims which contradict their views. Not that one gets a real answer to their failing – just the usual waffle from “advisers” caught with their pants down

  45. mikecawdery

    May I suggest that some individual patients commenting on this blog may like to apply to be a patient reviewer with the BMJ (British Medical Journal). They are recruiting at the moment.

    One does not need to have medical training of any sort but obviously medics/nurses as patients are welcome. The starting point is:

    The BMJ is recruiting patient reviewers | Person-Centred Care Resource Centre

    http://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/resources-reviewers/guidance-patient-reviewers

    I have just completed my second review and it is an interesting exercise. Patient reviewers are not subject to the same rigorous scientific rules as expert professional reviewers. Indeed it seems that they like to get real patients views.

    This novel approach to reviewing by the BMJ is a great step forward and the editor, Dr Fiona Godlee is to be congratulated. The whole initiative is OPEN ACCESS! Great!

    I only wish that the other major journals (NEJM, The Lancet, JAMA , Archives of Medical Research et al) would follow suit but I suspect that those journals that are supported by medical associations (supported by Big Pharma, ie conflicted) will generally be slow to follow the BMJ’s initiative.

    Reply
      1. David Bailey

        How does this work? I mean as a patient, I would only feel ‘qualified’ to comment on papers on statins, and maybe saturated fat. Does each patient reviewer get asked to review papers in an area that they specify?

        Will it make the slightest difference?

      2. David Bailey

        OK – I have filled in the online application form – which answers my other question – so I will see what happens!

  46. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    Malcolm,

    I see that one of my earlier comments, a reply to David Bailey, is still to be moderated which I assume to be inadvertently from your side.

    By the way I intend to sign up as a patient reviewer for BMJ. I am used to it in my own field of metallurgy and today I am on vacation for the rest of my life still in pretty good shape 🙂

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Stephen

      Many thanks for the link – most interesting.

      Prof Sir Robert Lechler (born 1951) says prevention is better than cure.

      Indeed that is true. Some vaccines actually do that with a single annual injection. However chemoprophylaxis has its problems, for example malaria is now resistant to drugs that used to be highly effective in curing the disease. It is even resistant to artemesin and variants (a Chinese drug that is not authorized in the UK). The story goes that a study to demonstrate its efficacy was not done because two professors could not agree on who would “lead” the study. Antibiotics are another example of this sort of misuse.

      Daily use of drugs leads to resistance in the infective agent or exacerbates the real incidence of adverse reactions; the longer the use, the more likely the damage to the individual patient. In short, diagnosis has to improve immensely so that those truly “at risk” can be treated, rather than the current philosophy of treating hundreds of people to achieve one benefit. Back in the 1950s this sort of treatment was called “shotgun therapy” and not approved. But then most of those today promoting the practice were as yet unborn or still in nappies.

      Reply
  47. vanwin

    I would like to warn anyone with heart trouble about the drug “Amiodarone”. Please google it and be warned of the danger.

    Reply
  48. Michael

    People are lying and dying for a paycheck. How can anyone expect ‘doctors’ to understand that health is purely good nutrition when their career success and their salary depends on them NOT understanding.

    Reply
  49. Razwell

    Hi Dr. Kendrick,

    Statins can cause Parkinson’s too. Have you read Dr. Huang’s research? These are TOXIC drugs. Lipitor’s patent has expired. No surprise the FDA is finally even considering that statins are toxic. The FDA is corrupt too. Corruption is a huge problem in medicine. Dr. Golumb has proof this goes on . Look at the gjostwritten articles about the off label use for the epilepsy drug Neurontin. Totally made up….

    Thanks for exposing the statin fraud.

    Reply

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