Although Big Pharma does its best to keep negative information about its drugs out of the spotlight, many people have heard about the dangers of statins by now. Nevertheless, some people feel that they are worth the risk, believing that their benefits outweigh any negative side effects that may occur. A new study shows, however, that this belief is false as there is no evidence that taking statin drugs improves a heart attack patient’s survival chances.
In fact, the study found that taking a statin daily over the course of five years following a heart attack only extended a person’s life by a mere four days, and there was no impact on decreasing deaths of any kind.
Statins are commonly prescribed to patients who have heart disease or are at risk of developing it, and they typically must take the drugs every day for the rest of their lives. Some drugs that fall into this category include the brand names Crestor, Zocor and Lipitor.
The study, which was published in Pharmaceutical Journal, was carried out by an international team of researchers at the New York University School of Medicine. The researchers had some harsh words for the pharmaceutical industry following these shocking results.
Big Pharma pulling the wool over our eyes
Dr. Esther van Zuuren, a senior researcher from Leiden University, said: “It’s time we look at the evidence and stop letting the pharmaceutical companies and food industry pull the wool over our eyes.”
The paper even went so far as to say that quitting statins could actually save more lives and improve the quality of life for people who take them, pointing out that statins cause side effects in 29 percent of users and only offer “the illusion of cardiovascular protection” in those who are obese.
Not only do these drugs not help those who have had a heart attack, but they also fail to provide benefits when used as a preventive measure. One out of every five Americans aged 40 to 75 is taking statins to prevent an initial stroke or heart attack, even though most people who take these drugs for primary prevention do not benefit from it yet still suffer the side effects. University of California Professor of Medicine Dr. Rita Redberg told CNN in April that of 100 people taking these drugs for primary prevention over the course of five years, even the best estimates show just one or two people avoiding a heart attack and none living longer. And what are they getting for their efforts? The side effects and health risks are staggering.
Side effects are frequent, with at least one out of every ten patients experiencing sore throat, nosebleeds, nausea, joint pain, and headache. Other side effects include insomnia, blurred vision, liver or pancreas inflammation, memory problems, ED, and jaundice.
Studies have shown that these drugs cause debilitating muscle pain in as many as 40 percent of the people who use them. With an estimated 73 million people in the U.S. having high LDL cholesterol, this is a sizeable amount of suffering.
However, it’s their long-term risks that are particularly concerning. One recent study found that older women who took high doses of statins had a 50 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, supporting an earlier study that found an increased risk of 46 percent, even after adjusting for other risk factors.
Healthy lifestyle a far better approach
How can you improve your cholesterol and heart health without these dangerous drugs? The researchers in the NYU study said that heart attack survivors should focus on improving their health with diet and exercise instead of taking medications. They said that people over 65 who took statins were more likely to die than those who changed their diet.