All diabetics over 40 should be on statins, says an expert
Stockholm, Sweden - All people over the age of 40 with diabetes—type 1 or type 2—should be taking statins to reduce their risk of stroke or coronary events, one expert stressed to diabetes doctors at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 2010 Meeting last week. Dr John Betteridge (University College London, UK) outlined the evidence base for statins in diabetes and stressed their safety, as long as they are appropriately used and drug interactions are avoided.
Betteridge has received honoraria for lectures and attendance at advisory boards and some research funding from AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Kowa, Merck Sharp & Dohme and Pfizer. This man clearly is a spokesman for the pharmaceutical industry. To say or infer that what he says is unbiased is terribly naïve yet this man is the expert at medical meetings, a man who dictates medical practice to other doctors, a man regarded by other doctors as particularly knowledgeable in the use of medicines and the treatment of illness. This is a man whose words are purchased by the highest bidder. Truth has no role when he speaks only allegiance to the mantra of his owners.
This is the man who can look at these facts:
1) Of the 137,000 people admitted to 500 U.S. hospitals with evidence of heart attack, 75 percent had LDL cholesterol levels below the recommended level of 130 and 50 percent had LDL cholesterol levels below 100.
2) 50 percent of heart attacks occurred in people with normal cholesterol levels.
And say with conviction that cholesterol elevation is the cause of elevated cardiovascular risk.
This is the man who can look at the ENHANCE study comparing Vytorin (a combination of Zocor and Zetia) and Zocor alone, which showed that even though the combination drug Vytorin lowered the LDL cholesterol 40 percent more than Zocor alone there was no difference in the progression of the atherosclerotic plaque and still say “lower cholesterol is better”, the marketing mantra of the statin maker, his masters.
This is the man who with respect to statin drug side effects can say to his fellow doctors, "you have to reassure your patients that the side effects are most unlikely due to the drug, and you have to look for other causes and counsel them that this is a very important drug for them to take."
Not one word about the ten of thousands of cognitive reactions to statins, manifested by various forms of amnesia, confusion, increased forgetfulness, disorientation and a dementia closely resembling that of Alzheimers. Nor about the adverse reaction of statins in the form of emotional and behavioral reactions such as aggression, sensitivity, paranoia, hostility, depression, suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, combativeness and a road rage type reaction. Both the statin side effect repository at the San Diego College, directed by Dr. Beatrice Golomb and Dr. Graveline’s at www.spacedoc.net have found that cognitive and emotional reactions appear in patients reports just as often as reports of various neuromuscular problems. Most authorities now agree that myopathy incidence is now much closer to 15 percent than the less that 2 percent figure stated by the drug companies at the time statins first were marketed. Dr. Golomb has recently reported that of those cases reporting myopathy, 68 percent will prove to be permanent. Neuropathy already is considered permanent and particularly unresponsive to treatment of all kinds. Dr. Wolfe’s study following Baycol withdrawal reported that rhabdomyolysis incidence now runs at several hundred rhabdomyolysis hospitalization each year with a 10 percent death rate amounting to some 30deaths annually despite the withdrawal of Baycol from the market.
In view of this information about these well-known adverse reactions from statin drug use, how can Dr John Betteridge sleep at night knowing how widely divergent his words are from the truth? If this in formation is insufficient for you to question this man’s integrity concerning the relevance of cholesterol let me add the results of the JUPITER study that he has ignored so completely. Dr. Ridker took thousands of people of both sexes and over a wide range of ages with cholesterol levels of 130 or lower and no evidence of cardiovascular disease – healthy by all standards. He then gave all of these volunteers a test for inflammation known as the (hs)CRP test. Those testing positive for inflammation by this single test he then divided into two groups. To one group he gave a placebo, to the other he gave a moderate dose of a statin. Then Ridker observed these two groups for heart attacks and strokes (hard evidence of cardiovascular disease) as time passed. By 18 months of observation the placebo group showed so many cases of heart attacks and strokes that to proceed would be to violate medical ethics. This is the study that established for all to see the irrelevance of cholesterol either as a marker for CV risk or as a factor in the disease process – 35 years of brainwashing revealed by this one study. And our expert never mentioned it at the 2010 meeting in Stockholm a few months ago.
By Dwight Lundell MD