If you are a 50-something or older, the next time you go to the doctor for a check up you could find yourself being told you should start taking cholesterol-lowering statins even if your weight is good, you don’t have raised blood pressure, you exercise and you have no history of heart disease. That’s because NICE has just proposed a new set of guidelines for GPs which will mean that almost everyone is eligible. This is not a good idea.
One reason for not putting even more millions on these drugs is that your chance of benefiting if you don’t already have heart disease is tiny. Far smaller than your chance of having one of a number of nasty side effects which include muscle pains, cataracts, diabetes and a mental slow down and memory loss – “brain fog”. A new post on HealthInsightUK.org explains just why the official case for statins just doesn’t stack up.
It shows how the endlessly repeated phrase “statins save lives” simply isn’t true. In fact the evidence suggests that you are less likely to have a heart attack if your cholesterol is higher than if it is lower. It also explains, without any daunting statistics, why the odds against your benefiting from taking a statin-a-day for years are so long that the most optimistic betting shop punter would give it a miss. The post reveals for the first time just how many of the committee that came up with the new guidelines have financial links with the companies that make the drugs.
If you’ve been offered these drugs or you know a friend who is on them it at least makes sense to know about the case for not taking them. You are unlikely to hear much about it from your doctor. Take a look.