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The cold, hard truth about statins

New study finds cholesterol meds don’t work

“Can it really be true that statins won’t stop heart attacks?”

That was the incredulous headline in a recent edition of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.

No, they weren’t getting ready to quote me — they were referring to a damning new analysis from the Cochrane Collaboration, which found that statins don’t make a drop of difference for 99.9 percent of all low-risk customers conned into taking them.

Yes, conned — because these are the customers (let’s stop calling them patients) who’ve made statins into the world’s best-selling drugs. They’re the millions of people who take these meds every day despite no history of heart attacks or heart disease.

Heck, some don’t even have high cholesterol levels.

So why are they taking them? Good question — because it’s certainly not doing them any good: The new study looked at 14 clinical trials involving more than 34,000 customers, and found you’d have to give 1,000 of these people statins every day for an entire year to prevent a single death.

Put another way, that’s an absolute reduction of a tenth of a percent — smaller than a statistical blip.

But hold on a minute, because even that teensy-weensy “benefit” is just a wild exaggeration!

The Cochrane team found evidence of bias and selective reporting of results to favor the meds — which shouldn’t be a stunner since most of the trials in the analysis were funded by statin makers.

And in addition to exaggerating the drug’s supposed benefits, the researchers either hid the side effects or never even bothered to report them at all.

So let me report them here: Statins have been linked to intense and debilitating muscle pain, kidney failure, liver dysfunction, and cataracts. Some people have reported severe memory loss.

Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency even warned recently that some statin users suffer from sexual problems, sleep loss, and depression.

So now that the cat’s out of the bag and even the mainstream media has spotted it, let’s get back to that headline: Can it really be true that statins won’t stop heart attacks?

You bet your sweet bippy it’s true.

And now, the rest of the world knows it too.

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