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    Statins Might Not Cause Aching Muscles, But Diabetes Risk Is Real
    iride6606 posted:
    This interesting and thought provoking and is the new direction in conventional thinking concerning statins, the old fears are being de-bunked. Here are some excerpts;

    People taking cholesterol-lowering statins often report having muscle pain and other side effects. Many quit taking the pills as a result. But the statins aren't to blame, according to an analysis that found muscle problems no more likely with statins than with a placebo pill. Diabetes is the only harmful side effect linked to statins, the study found, with 3 percent of people on statins being newly diagnosed with diabetes, compared with 2.4 percent of people taking placebos. That means that for every five new cases of diabetes in people taking statins, one is caused by the drug.

    The numbers on side effect are curious, especially considering that many of us who aren't cardiologists presume that statins cause muscle problems. After all, the instructions for the drugs mention muscle soreness as a side effect to watch out for.
    "It surprised me," says Dr. Darrel Francis , a professor of cardiology at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, and the senior author of the study . "You would think that if statins were causing lots of muscle aches, there would be less in people taking placebo. But it doesn't actually increase."

    People participating in trials may be more likely to report symptoms, Francis says, just because they're being asked. And trial volunteers tend to be eager participants. So side effects may be less common in people not in clinical trials.

    Aside from diabetes, the only side effect more common in people on statins was a slight increase in liver enzymes. But the authors say it's unclear whether those increases are harmful. People taking higher doses of statins were more likely to have increased liver enzymes. But early concerns about liver problems have eased, and the Food and Drug Administration no longer requires that instructions for the drugs tell doctors to routinely check the levels in people taking statins.

    Doctors and patients can be influenced by the long and scary list of side effects reported in drug packaging, Imperial College's Francis says, even though those lists don't give a true indication of risk. "We are obliged as doctors to say this drug might cause this, which is bizarre," he says.
    bobby75703 responded:
    Cholesterol plays a vital role in the structural integrity and fluidity of muscle cells.

    Statin associated muscle cell breakdown is well documented in medical case history.
    billh99 responded:
    I have a real problem with is this report. It is based on a meta analysis of many clinic trails.

    We're confused because clinical trials don't compare the number of people reporting each side effect in both statin and placebo groups, Francis tells Shots. The study was published Wednesday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

    All of the published reports that I have read and the pack inserts all report the number of in both the number in the placebo.

    On the other hand all of the original clinical trails for FDA approval are not done on "real people".

    One that may be taking a multiple list of other meds and have other problems. For example I applied for a trail for a treatment of knee osteoarthritis. But 3 years ago I had surgery to remove my prostate because of cancer. Since then I my PSA has been undetectable. But I was turned down for it .

    In real life the users statins are going to have all kinds of medical conditions and going to using a multitude of meds.

    I would like to see a study based on all comers.

    Now Cleveland Clinic reported that in their practice they reported about 20% of their patients reported muscle pain. But when they did a challenge test they actual number where the pain was caused by statins was much, much less. But, IIRC, some of the people they had to go to low dose, every 2, 3 day dosing. So I don't think that it was clear on the number that was directly effected by the statin. Nor did they try to determine the characteristics of those that did not did not have muscle pain caused by statin.
    iride6606 replied to billh99's response:
    You are correct, there are many questions but the numbers don't lie and that's why they must use meta-analysis data for this process. The use of collective data tends to take away from outliers in the data and flaws in the data. In this case looking at 84,000 participants there were no more cases of muscle pain in the statin group over the placebo group.

    I'm not advocating one position over another, but the debate now is whether or not statins cause the cellular breakdown or is it a normal process that occurs in both groups equally. The clinical trial at the CC points to the same result with live clinical trail results.

    bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
    "numbers don't lie"

    Experience has taught me otherwise. Numbers are subject to error. Numbers on paper can look great. Even the best laid business plans can fall apart when numbers meet the real world.

    * "This project was so well planned out. The numbers had a guaranteed profit. Why are we losing money!

    * "Her drawer balanced every night. She couldn't possibly be embezzling money."

    * " Only one in 10,000 suffer muscle fatigue on statins"

    Numbers can be wrong. What usually happens is human error in presenting the "facts" doesn't always stack up to reality. It can happen out of honest mistakes, or outright misrepresentations can occur.

    Then there is the subtle bending of the truth through lying by omission. Sharing only the numbers which support your cause, and sweeping aside the numbers that don't support your cause.

    Its the people behind the numbers, and they are, like everything else in this world, subject to error.

    bobby75703 replied to bobby75703's response:
    So do numbers lie? Oh yeah. Anybody that's been around the business world any length of time can tell ya.

    I remember when I was in real estate, we would look at property for sale. In this case apartment complexes. The seller would present numbers on the property's performance. This data would lie like crazy. Income was always beefed up and expenses were minimized, creating an image of a net profit that did not exist.

    We saw the red flags because we knew the business so well. The seller supplied information lied pretty bad. We stopped looking at them and looked at the property for what it was in the real world, and came up with a realistic set of numbers.

    When something is for sale. It doesn't matter what it is. Property, business, cars, or drugs. The natural human tendency of inflating the benefits, and minimizing the negatives will always be present.

    This is why I look at all these wild claims about statins, and I see the same thing I have seen all my life.

    Do numbers lie? If you have been down my road, the question would be " When do numbers not lie?"
    iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
    Too bad your numbers we're not screen by an independent data management board as these were. I mean really, comparing medical trials to real estate transactions. Not even close to a good comparison.

    It's the DMB that takes the bias out of the numbers. Bad numbers, no release of data. More people would stop talking about trial and study results if they knew the process, how it works, what are the safety nets and how what they bring up makes absolutely no sense.
    iride6606 replied to david1951's response:
    Again, 2009 data has all been pretty much proven to be overstated and no longer accepted, science is moving on but not all will go with it. We need to stop living in the past with old data and learn from the new findings. Even the FDA is pulling warnings on statins, but people can choose to stay angry based on over reactions derived from data gleaned in the 90's, it's OK. Others will look forward and see the opportunities. I have seen spacedoc once or twice, it strikes me as a self serving website designed to benefit from fear, not very helpful.

    So to recap, new meta analysis and current clinical trials are proving, without a doubt, that there are no more incidence of myopathy with people using statins to those on placebos. It's not really that difficult, count those with myopathy in both groups and compare. Pretty simple but hey, I'm only the guy that does the numbers. I'm not advocating one position or the other, that was a very interesting reaction to deflect on a poster starting a discussion. (notice how I did this without using insults as a strategy)
    bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
    I disagree with the meta analysis. The reason? It doesn't match what I witness in the real world.

    Found this interesting article on numbers and how they can distort the truth. Its titled "Numbers don't lie...but they may ignore our most important truths"

    This paragraph from the article shines a spotlight on the reality of research.

    The problem with numbers is not numbers, per se; it's where they fall in our order-of-operations.
    Too often we see them as an end point — the holy grail of research, evaluation, analysis, planning — rather than a step along the journey of better understanding. When numbers become the end game, the pressure to manipulate their journey, fiddling, adjusting and otherwise reconfiguring them is immense. And as much as we might like to pretend they represent an infallible scientific rigour, those of us who've ever filled a funder's monitoring form know that even a figure calculated to the Nth decimal place still has significant room for interpretive flexibility, when you need it to."

    Powerful. Honest. Welcome to the real world.
    bobby75703 replied to bobby75703's response:
    The report that David 1951 posted from Mayo Clinic aligns much better to what I have witnessed with statins in the real world.

    ...and even the Mayo Clinic report may fall short in estimating the number of people affected with muscle problems on statins.

    The people I encountered who suffer from statin muscle problems were NEVER counted in the statistics. Not a single one of them. Instead they were ignored by their physicians.

    This business of brushing off patient complaints of muscle pain was ludicrous, yet it continued for years and years.

    Many patients who suffered muscle pain were wrongfully told "its not the statin". Some of those people have since passed away, the myopathy unaccounted for forever. Talk about burying statistics.

    We will never know the true damages.
    iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
    You are kidding right? You're quoting the "More Like people" blog. FYI, not an article, just a blog posting, it's an advertisement, Do you know anything about that organization or the people who founded it? You may want to check that out before you use them, a business major that washed out and a couple of philanthropists that represent an anti-business campaign in the UK, when trying to discredit medical data that has been managed by an independent source. FYI, if you would read the links posted you would see there WAS NO FUNDING for this project, it was paid for by Oxford. Yet here you are talking about the misuse of funding again, how it's the reason the data is not reliable, because there's a profit involved. I guess you didn't read all about this group. These rants are available to your organization along with their help for a price, meaning they make money from their words by helping others organize and become enlightened such as themselves. Here's a bit from the site you did not post, (chuckle to quote dave1951)

    Our Rates
    Our rates are not fixed and vary both in regards to the type and size of organisation (public/voluntary/turnover) and the number of our network members involved in delivery.

    No bias or incentive for profit with these guys, eh? This did make my evening.

    Also, how does this not meet with your reality? Unless you're a doctor or a researcher as myself who lives in the data, how do you have such an experience? What do you have beyond a few acquaintances that may be impacted or what you may be told by some family members that may have a greater knowledge? I am knee deep in the data and it fits the reality I see to a tee.
    bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
    The industry has your blindfold double knotted.

    What doesn't get funded thru the front door, gets funded thru the back door. Usually in terms of donations or gifts to the organization.

    The blog is right. Spot on. Data can be cherry picked to come up with the results that favor the outcome wanted. Almost always for monetary gain.

    A person can place their trust in the data, but much of the "data" only serves as an effort to sell more product.

    iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
    Great, show me how this was funded. Do you know where Oxford gets their money? Have you been through their list of donations and benefactors? You have no idea so you speculate to make if fit your core beliefs. Again, you are not involved in the process, you are on the outside looking in, thinking you know how it works and casting stones based on headlines.

    The data is no good because some one was making a profit somewhere along the process. The blog (yesterday an article) is used to make a profit for services to sell that philosophy but that's OK. Their blog actually tells you how much it will cost to be able to believe what they believe. Your core beliefs have you blindfolded with a double knot.

    FYI, cherry picking happens when people look at one piece of data from an entire work and use it to fit their argument. But you know that.
    bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
    Big Pharma has had too much of a presence on our campuses. Conflicts of interest with our schools is of growing concern.

    Look carefully at the article in your original posting. Do you not see the HUGE red flag in the title?

    I agree with David1951. The Mayo Clinics numbers fall more in line with reality.

    But you are welcome to believe what you want.

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