Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Spinning like a top over statins
The amazing statin religion sails on. A recent study found that there are indeed severe loss of memory problems for people who take statins to prevent heart attacks. So how was the study reported in the popular press? The headline was "Cholesterol-lowing statins DON'T cause memory loss". WTF is going on? Don't blame the journalists. As usual, it was the doctors who did the study who were spinning like tops.
The academic journal article is Statin Therapy and Risk of Acute Memory Impairment. The study was a generally good one that used two controls, people not taking drugs, people taking statins and people taking another class of lipid lowering drugs. High levels of lipids (blood fats) are thought to be behind heart attacks. So what did they find? I quote:
"Both statin and nonstatin LLDs were strongly associated with acute memory loss in the first 30 days following exposure in users compared with nonusers but not when compared with each other"
So in normal circumstances we might conclude that the problem is bigger than thought. Not only statins but another class of lipid lowering drug is a big problem. We might conclude that we need our lipids. Our bodies put them into our blood for a reason and anything that reduces them is bad for our brains.
But the researchers were not happy with that straightforward conclusion. They theorized that their study was faulty and the patients detected what was going on and gave the result expected! They were willing to disrespect their own research in order to hang on to their theory that statins are harmless. No wonder I and some others refer to statin use as a religion! These guys are definite true believers. But look at the facts, not at the theory. Statins ARE bad for you! They mess up your brain.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).