Thursday, June 14, 2012

Statin safety- Your comment and mine " just give the facts "

Thanks for your comment.  I appreciate all the comments that I receive because they often lead to interesting and important discussions . I appreciate a comment from yesterday , " many health experts believe that statins only harm people "  , that I believe is incorrect and not backed up by the facts.

Documented Facts
Statin caused myopathy  , varying between mild and tolerable aches and pains to severe and intolerable, occurs in 1 person out of 10,000 taking a statin.  Rhabdomyolysis is rare and occurs in 0.15 per 1 million prescriptions written .

The primary cause of death for people with Diabetes is cardiovascular disease. A recent study reported in the June 2012 issue of Diabetes Care reported that 69% of diabetes deaths in the study had a cardiovascular cause listed on their death certificate .
Predictors of Mortality over 8 years in type 2 Diabetes   Diabetes Care  June 2012

The safety and benefits of Statins are well documented.  
I will review the data from a few of my favorite studies.

  The Heart Protection Study
This study demonstrated  substantial benefit to patients with Diabetes regardless of age or sex. Their conclusion was that taking 40 mg of simvastatin (Zocor ) daily would reduce their LDL cholesterol by 38.8 mg/dl and reduce their rates of developing heart attacks, strokes and heart revascularizations
by 25 %. Another way of looking at their data is, taking simvastatin daily for 5 years would prevent 55 people per 1000 from having a major vascular event.
* Heart Protection Study  Lancet 361 (June 14, 20013: 2005-2016

    CARDS study
This study involved 2838 patients with type 2 diabetes with no previous history of heart disease. The treatment group received 10 mg of atorvastatin (Lipitor ) daily and experienced significant benefit.
       Acute coronary events reduced by 36%
       Coronary revascularizations reduced by 31 %
       Strokes reduced by 48%
       Death rate reduced by 27%
       NO adverse events were reported in the treatment group. The placebo group had more complaints
       of muscle discomfort.
       Overall treatment with 10 mg of Atorvastatin (lipitor )would be expected to prevent 37 major
       vascular events per 1000 people treated for 4 years..
*Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with atorvastatin in type 2 diabetes in the Collaborative Atorvastatin  Diabetes Study (CARDS): multicentre randomised placebo-controlled trial.
Colhoun HM, Betteridge DJ, Durrington PN, Hitman GA, Neil HA, Livingstone SJ, Thomason MJ, Mackness MI, Charlton-Menys V, Fuller JH; CARDS investigators. Lancet 364 (August 21, 2004 ) 685-696

Tomorrows post - lowering cholesterol other options

Have fun , Be smart  and keep up your comments
David Calder,MD


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Your comments and questions are appreciated. David Calder,MD