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Statin use is up, cholesterol levels are down: Are Americans’ hearts benefiting?
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iride6606 posted:
Big change in the number of deaths from heart disease starting in 1997, lower cholesterol due to statin use included in list of reasons;







The American diet is better for the heart than it used to be, at least in some respects. But lower cholesterol levels also belong on the list of positive influences and along with them, statins.

It's hard to beat a statin if the goal is lowering your LDL. If you take the pills as prescribed, LDL levels typically decrease by about 30%.



http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/statin-use-is-up-cholesterol-levels-are-down-are-americans-hearts-benefiting-201104151518
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bobby75703 responded:
Heart disease started declining around 1970, long before statins were invented.



There was no change in the decline rate in heart disease after statins.

Its important to show the whole picture, and not cover important data with one hand. Otherwise it could lead the reader to the wrong conclusion. Or is that what you want? To make the reader think statins are to credit?
 
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iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
Even your graph shows a sharp downturn beginning in the late 90's. No one is misleading anyone, just another conspiracy claim.


Denialism trait #1;


Conspiracy theories
When the overwhelming body of scientific opinion believes something is true, the denialist won't admit scientists have independently studied the evidence to reach the same conclusion. Instead, they claim scientists are engaged in a complex and secretive conspiracy. The South African government of Thabo Mbeki was heavily influenced by conspiracy theorists claiming that HIV was not the cause of AIDS. When such fringe groups gain the ear of policy makers who cease to base their decisions on science-based evidence, the human impact can be disastrous.
 
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iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
You can stop deflecting Bobby, there is a definite down turn in the late 90's. That's all this article states.
 
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bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
No sir. Statins had zero impact on the decline rate.
 
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iride6606 responded:
In fact, here are the latest numbers;





Another big dip beginning in 2007. These dips have been attributed to advances in prevention and treatment of at risk patients. Or are we to conclude that human physiology has changed?


I think this puts it well;


Saying we're not making strides against heart disease and cancer is just, well, wrong. Look at the below (above) chart of mortality from both, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notice something? They're both going down. Yes, attacking common diseases is hard, but acting like we're not making progress is missing the forest for the trees.


Again, just posting the article, everyone can put their own spin on it.
 
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iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
Here it is. The reason the shorter term graphs are more useful is because they show the small deviations you don't get in the totals, I know that's one of those "numbery" things you struggle with, but here you go;


 
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bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
Yes, that is the correct graph depicting the decline in death rates from heart disease in the United States.

For viewers just tuning in, statins came out in 1987, about the mid point in the decline line.

The rate of decline in deaths from heart disease pre and post statins remained virtually unchanged, despite their ability to lower cholesterol.

If we want magnify the graph line and pick at the tiny bends in the graph, we show the best rate of decline in the mid 70's, long before statins existed.
 
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iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
Actually, no.


Again, maybe it's a numbery thing that is throwing you off. It's from a form of the law of diminishing marginal utility.


I included the graph with milestones for a reason, I was just waiting for a reason. Look at the total graph and follow along. As we can see, the initial decrease begins when bypass surgery is introduced just before 1970. Had nothing else changed, the chart would have flattened out, only being influenced by the number of CABGs being done in relationship to the net change in the population. The next big change is the introduction of the first effective blood pressure meds, the decline continued. Next, in 1979 angioplasty as developed, the decline continues. Next, the first implantable defib units were developed, the decline continued. Next, the National Cholesterol Education Program was started followed closely by the introduction of statins. The decline continues. This was followed by a series of successful trials and new treatments for specific conditions and myopathies and the decline continues and is actually accelerating.


Statistically speaking, there is a concept being missed by some here. If there were no continuation of improvements of treatments and procedures, the line would have flattened out. Statins are just one improvement that kept the decline moving along. If there had been no more improvements since 1970, the only change in the line would be the result of the number of a given procedure at a static moment as a factor of the change in population. It is much more complicated than just looking at a line, it helps to understand it.


You see, it's an accumulation of improvements, if the chain ever stops the line flattens out, it's a function of the previously mentioned rule of diminishing marginal utility. That's what this graph illustrates. It's not about one innovation (cause) making a major shift, the numbers are too large for that which is why we need to look at smaller segments to really understand what impact any one contribution is having. Some don't get that.


Having said that, if the actual numbers were correct and we were not comparing a static to a variable, the change in the line would be far more dramatic which has been my opinion all along.
 
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bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
Bypass surgery is amazing. Gave my Dad an extra 24 years although he eventually died of heart disease, bypass bought him time, not a cure, and he still became a statistic in the graph line.

The graph line only shows medical milestones. There were also other lifestyle factors that may have come into play.

The smoking graph depicts the rise and fall of cigarette smoking. It corresponds very well with death rate graph from heart disease. I think most people universally consider smoking a major risk factor. Just after 1968 America started stopping smoking.

The 50's and 60's were also the heavy smog years. So it wasn't just cigarettes contributing to the dirty air. After 1970 America started cleaning up its air. Raw auto exhaust and industry emissions slowly declined in perfect harmony with declining death rates from heart disease.

There is no question medical intervention improved, but something very interesting was happening. The incidence of heart disease was declining. Fewer people were getting heart disease to begin with.

The decline of heart disease prior to statins clearly demonstrates something else was responsible for the decline.

The introduction of statins had no visible impact on the graph line.

None of us know what would have happened to the graph line had one or more of the improvement factors not occurred, so nobody can know for sure.

But one thing is certain. We were doing very good in the battle against heart disease before statins were invented. Statins made no change in the trend line.
 
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bobby75703 replied to bobby75703's response:
Although emission declines started in 1970, this graph captures 1980 -2008 with the four basic pollutants.

 
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bobby75703 replied to bobby75703's response:
The smoking graph coincides in excellent harmony with the rise and fall of heart disease 100 year graph.

 
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bobby75703 replied to bobby75703's response:


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