Statin medications, such as the widely prescribed Lipitor, can drive down elevated cholesterol levels, but they have failed to substantially improve users’ chances of having a heart attack or stroke. The drugs also have numerous serious side effects that are pushed under the radar by supporters of statin therapy, according to a study published in the March edition of the medical journal Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology.
Dr. David M. Diamond, a professor of psychology, molecular pharmacology and physiology at the University of South Florida, and Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, an independent health researcher and an expert in cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, claim promoters of statin therapy have grossly exaggerated statins’ ability to prevent strokes, heart attacks and heart disease-related deaths.
The researchers analyzed data from clinical trials of statin drugs to conclude “statin advocates have used statistical deception to create the illusion that statins are ‘wonder drugs,’ when the reality is that their modest benefits are more than offset by their adverse effects.”
Statin side effects include serious muscle injury and liver damage. The drugs can also increase blood sugar levels which puts users at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Postmenopausal women who use statins are at even greater risk of developing the chronic disease.
“The adverse effects suffered by people taking statins are more common than reported in the media and at medical conferences,” the researchers said. “Increased rates of cancer, cataracts, diabetes, cognitive impairments, musculoskeletal disorders more than offset the modest cardiovascular benefits of statin treatment.”
Source: The Bradenton Times