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Are benefits of cholesterol-lowering statins worth risks?
Haylen_WebMD_Staff posted:
Click the link above to read:

Cholesterol-Lowering Statin Drugs: Fequently Asked Questions with Steven Nissen, MD, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

Do you agree or disagree with Dr. Nissen?

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billh99 responded:
A very balanced report.
bobby75703 responded:
While I have much respect for Dr. Nissen, I disagree.

Dr. Nissen is reporting the Relative Risk Reduction with statins, which makes the drug appear to more effective than it really is. Most statins have an Absolute Risk Reduction of around 1%. Meaning 100 people have to take the statin for just one person to benefit.

Side effects have been sadly under reported. Many patients quote their physician saying "Its not the statin causing your problems, your just getting older and have to accept a few muscle aches and pains." This brushing off of patient complaints has resulted in gross error in reporting the true impact of damage from these drugs.

As with any drug, its always important to weigh the risk and benefits. But until the public understands the difference between Relative Risk and Absolute risk, its easy for the drug companies to paint an overly positive picture of their drugs, and minimize the side effects. This is all a normal part of sales. Inflate the benefits- minimize the risks.

With statins its all about sales. Big corporations profiting from public perception that lowering serum cholesterol will somehow lessen risk of heart disease or stroke.

People who take statins don't live any longer than those who don't. These are not longevity drugs. When deciding the risk/ benefit ratio, don't look to them to add one single day to your life.
bobby75703 responded:
Ya know Haylen, back in 2008 Business Week Magazine addressed your question in an article titled "Do Cholesterol Drugs do any Good?" The article weighs the risks and rewards.

Here is the article again:

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