As some of you know my mother died at the age of 90 10 months ago. The final 10 years of her life her doctor kept increasing her dose of statins in spite of the fact her cholesterol levels were not increasing. It eventually had a very negative impact on her health. I had a huge argument with her doctor who finally agreed to reduce her statin dose and she was better within days. That is why I am in complete agreement with this:
ON Tuesday, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new cholesterol guidelines that essentially declared, in one fell swoop, that millions of healthy Americans should immediately start taking pills — namely statins — for undefined health “benefits.”
This announcement is not a result of a sudden epidemic of heart disease, nor is it based on new data showing the benefits of lower cholesterol. Instead, it is a consequence of simply expanding the definition of who should take the drugs — a decision that will benefit the pharmaceutical industry more than anyone else. (bold mine, RB)
We have become a society that demands a pill to cure everything so we don’t have to take any personal responsibility for our own health.
Perhaps more dangerous, statins provide false reassurances that may discourage patients from taking the steps that actually reduce cardiovascular disease. According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of cardiovascular disease is caused by smoking, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, and other lifestyle factors. Statins give the illusion of protection to many people, who would be much better served, for example, by simply walking an extra 10 minutes per day.
Of course the highly profitable pharmaceutical industry wants us to take more pills but why would the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology go along with this? Because they are all part of the Medical Industrial Complex.
The process by which these latest guidelines were developed gives rise to further skepticism. The group that wrote the recommendations was not sufficiently free of conflicts of interest; several of the experts on the panel have recent or current financial ties to drug makers. In addition, both the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, while nonprofit entities, are heavily supported by drug companies.
I am 67 and have refused to take statins at all. My cholesterol level is the same as it was 40 years ago and it was considered to be alright then. Cholesterol inflation has certainly benefited the drug companies bottom line, Jefferson Airplane said it best.
One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all