The effect of statins might be (really) small

(Bob M) #1

Yet another meta-analysis:

(1) They actually used absolute risk, instead of only showing relative risk and requiring you to figure out absolute risk, and (2) both absolute and relative risks are small.

Edit: And my guess is that last sentence means that whatever “beneficial” effect statins have, it’s likely not due to lowering LDL but instead due to other pleiotropic effects.


I am admittedly not well versed on statins but wasn’t there something a few years ago that it reduced cancer risk? Did anything ever come of that?

(Joey) #3

The rest of the Conclusion buries what ought to be the headline:

“…A conclusive association between absolute reductions in LDL-C levels and individual clinical outcomes was not established, and these findings underscore the importance of discussing absolute risk reductions when making informed clinical decisions with individual patients.”

(Bacon is better) #4

This is not exactly surprising news, except to people who believe that cholesterol is the cause of cardiovascular disease. This analysis is a good example of how manipulating markers is not capable of affecting the underlying condition.

As David Diamond likes to point out in his lectures, the effect of statins on cardiovascular risk might be statistically significant, but is not particularly relevant from the clinical perspective.

(Bob M) #5

All of that may be true, but on Twitter, many of the doctors believe LDL is causal for heart disease, and since statins lower LDL, they reduce heart disease. Phrases like “it’s been proven…” are used all the time. We’re the “LDL (or statin) deniers”.

Since statins are (still) billion dollar drugs, it’s going to be a while until the tide changes.

(Bacon is better) #6

Certainly, those who work for pharmaceutical companies all do, lol!

(Alec) #7

Well, well, well, there’s a surprise. A lot of us know this, the data has been stacking up for years that cholesterol has little to do with All Cause Mortality, and if anything, higher cholesterol is protective against ACM and CVD.

Will this study change anything? Not a chance. It will get pushed into a drawer by the Establishment as inconvenient, and they will believe there must be something wrong with the study because it doesn’t support “what we all know to be true”.

Rather tired of the Medical Establishment being led by antiscientists.

And if your Dr has you on a statin, I would be asking him/her why they are trying to kill you. I am serious.

Up the Revolution!

(Robin) #8

Hi Alec… you’ve been quiet lately. Everything good?

(Alec) #9

All good. Been busy. And a bit tired. Thanks for asking.

(Bob M) #10

I’ve seen studies used where they take the amount of LDL drop, then compare that with the “benefits”. That is, when people take statins, they experience different amounts of LDL drop, even though the statin is the same. If you figure out how much the statin dropped LDL, then put these into categories, eg, 20 point drop, 40 point drop, 60 point drop,…, you can then use that to figure out the benefits in those categories.

If the drop in LDL was what mattered, you’d expect the higher the drop, the more benefit. But that’s not what you get. You get basically a similar benefit no matter how much LDL drops.

Saw another study where they used two different amounts of the same statin, and one would think the statin with the larger amount of drug (and which lowered LDL more) would have more benefit, but it did not.

To me, these mean that the reduction in LDL probably has little to no effect.

(Bacon is better) #11

To you. But not to people invested in the diet-heart hypothesis.

There is so much evidence, some of which has been around since the nineteen-sixties, that saturated fat, cholesterol, and LDL are not the cause of cardiovascular disease, that you’d think by now researchers would have given up on the idea. :scream:

(Bob M) #12

Unfortunately, these are all different folks. The statins are drug manufacturers, but the saturated fat and cholesterol are people who don’t want us to eat animals. Those people are tough, because they tend to get in positions of authority.

(Joey) #13

The majority of patients who are prescribed statins ultimately stop taking them. Here’s a cautionary paper I share with loved ones given an Rx for a statin. It’s co-authored by David M. Diamond, Michel de Lorgeril, Malcolm Kendrick, Uffe Ravnskov, Paul Rosch, and here’s their conclusion:

"Our perspective of the literature is that non-adherence to statin treatment for primary prevention of CVD is justified because the meager benefits are more than offset by the extensive harms."

You can access the entire paper here:


I think I might be falling in love with Malcolm Kendrick. The man can write.

This was my long weekend reading matter…

(Central Florida Bob ) #15

I’m about halfway through reading his latest, “The Clot Thickens” but haven’t read any one of those.

Aside from it feeling, in places, like he was told, “we’ll give you (pick a number) % of sales in royalties, but we need you to give us 300 pages” it’s good read. There’s a lot in there I had just never come across before. I had read his blog some and heard other interviews over the years, and personally haven’t give a thought to cholesterol in years. It’s still good reading.


I’m going to dig out some of his YT videos when I’ve finished the books. And watched all Jason Fung’s. Keto research is a full time job in and of itself

(Joey) #17

I, too, have been a big Kendrick fan and hope he comes back to his own self. But I was deeply disappointed in his “Clot Thickens” diatribe.

I agree @CFLBob that it seems like a contract was driving things. FWIW, here was the review I posted last month:

(Robin) #18

Wow, girl! get after it!
I love a good line up of books.

(Bob M) #19

I’ve read the two on the left but not the two on the right.

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #20

Must be willful ignorance…
I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with any of the debilitating side effects,