Ah, statins – snake-oil for the 21st century. Not too long ago new uses for, and new problems with, statins were being flagged, it seemed, almost weekly. Now they’re for everyone. Seriously?
According to Pulse**, NICE have decided that everyone older than a foetus needs statins. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but not by much (and give them time – they’ll get there!). The Pulse article says :-
“The guidelines on lipid modification – put out for consultation today – recommend GPs start patients on high-intensity statin treatment if they have a 10% or more risk of CVD in the next 10 years, rather than the previous target of 20%.”
**You might need an account to access this article.
CVD = cardiovascular disease.
The comment from Nicola Hambridge demonstrates what little value this is going to have. And as Anonymous | 12 February 2014 8:58am points out, out of 140 patients on this new regimen, it would, statistically, benefit just one.
Is that a good use of financial resources (statins aren’t particularly cheap)? And does it justify subjecting patients to the risks of taking statins for such meagre benefits?** I don’t think so.
**a 1 in 140 chance of benefiting, while the risk of serious side effects is 2 or 3 in 100 – not great odds.
And they are not for me. Tried them, got excruciating, disabling, muscle pain (Rhabdomyolysis probably but my GP couldn’t be arsed investigating, he just bitched and whined because I refused to take any more).
And I never will again, especially as I currently have a selection of conditions, one of which is likely to kill me before my “slightly high but not a worry,” according to my former cardiologist, cholesterol becomes a problem. If, of course, it ever does.
And if you want to see the full horror of statins, go to drugs.com and look up Atorvastatin, the statin favoured by NICE for this programme, with particular attention paid to the side effects and interactions.
By the way, for those who sometimes question my knowledge of the medical matters I write about in this blog, a few years ago the editor of Pulse emailed “Doctor Graves” and asked for my practise details as he wanted to publish some of my comments in the print version of the mag.
I had to confess that I wasn’t a doctor, and did that mean I was going to be dumped off the online mag? He said no, as long as the quality of my input remained high there’d be no problem.
My point? Simply that I do know what I’m talking about, and what I don’t know, I research, assiduously. The Blog with Integrity badge in my sidebar isn’t there for fun – I take it very seriously.