Statins don't help healthy people with high cholesterol
A statin drug is part of the daily health regime of many people whose cholesterol levels are rising – but it doesn’t help people live longer. Instead, people who take the drug are merely more likely to suffer one of its side effects, such as cognitive decline, memory loss and nerve and muscle damage.
A new study has discovered that statins are no more effective than a sugar pill, or placebo, in preventing death from heart disease. Researchers from Cambridge University analysed the results of 11 studies into statin effectiveness, which involved more than 65,000 people. Around half were taking a statin, and the rest were given a placebo. Those in the placebo group had, on average, higher levels of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol than those in the statin group, and yet similar numbers from both groups died over the following four years.
Researchers say that statins can help people with an existing heart problem, but they are useless if the person has high cholesterol but is otherwise healthy.
(Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010; 170: 1024-31).