Hard scientific evidence of the effects of diet, pharmaceutical drugs & lifestyle on health from over 1,400 studies from research centers, universities and peer reviewed scientific journals.

Research by David Evans

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Atorvastatin linked to abnormally high calcium levels

This paper was published in the Archives of the Turkish Society of Cardiology 2014 Oct;42(7):662-6
 
Study title and authors:
Can atorvastatin calcium cause asymptomatic hypercalcemia?
Ipekçi SH, Baldane S, Sözen M, Kebapçılar L
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Selcuk University Faculty of Medicine, Konya, Turkey.
 
This paper can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25490303

Hypercalcemia is a condition in which the calcium level in your blood is above normal. Too much calcium in your blood can weaken your bones, create kidney stones, and interfere with the way your heart and brain works.

This paper reports the case of a woman who developed hypercalcemia after starting atorvastatin.

(i) A 52-year-old female was referred to hospital for hypercalcemia.
(ii) She had been taking atorvastatin for 1.5 years.
(iii) Atorvastatin induced hypercalcemia was suspected.
(iii) Exhaustive tests were conducted that ruled out all other causes of hypercalcemia.
(iv) She stopped taking atorvastatin and her calcium levels returned to normal.
(v) She restarted atorvastatin and again her hypercalcemia returned.
(vi) She again stopped taking atorvastatin and her calcium levels returned to normal.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Long-term exposure to statins may be associated with drug-induced lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune disorders

This study was published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 2007 Jan;21(1):17-24
 
Study title and author:
Lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases related to statin therapy: a systematic review.
Noël B.
Department of Dermatology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland. bernard.noel@chuv.hospvd.ch
 
This paper can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17207162

This paper reviewed the scientific literature concerning statin-induced autoimmune diseases including lupus erythematosus.

The review found:
(a) Statins were associated with various autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, polymyositis and lichen planus pemphigoides.
(b) Autoimmune hepatitis was observed in some patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
(c) The average time of exposure before disease onset was 12 months, with a range from one month to six years.
(d) Aggressive immunosuppressive therapy was required in the majority of cases to aid clinical recovery.
(e) Some patients died despite the immunosuppressive therapy.

Noel concludes: "Long-term exposure to statins may be associated with drug-induced lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune disorders. Fatal cases have been reported despite early drug discontinuation and aggressive systemic immunosuppressive therapy".

Monday, 1 December 2014

Vasectomy is associated with an increased incidence of lethal prostate cancer.

This study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology 2014 Jul 7

Study title and authors:
Vasectomy and Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer: A 24-Year Follow-Up Study.
Siddiqui MM, Wilson KM, Epstein MM, Rider JR, Martin NE, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci EL, Mucci LA.
Harvard School of Public Health

This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25002716

This study investigated the association between vasectomy and prostate cancer risk. The study included 49,405 men, aged 40 to 75 years, who were followed for 24 years.

The study found:
(a) Men who had undergone vasectomy had a 10% increased risk of prostate cancer compared to men who had not had a vasectomy.
(b) Men who had undergone vasectomy had a 22% increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer compared to men who had not had a vasectomy.
(c) Men who had undergone vasectomy had a 19% increased risk of death or distant metastasis compared to men who had not had a vasectomy. (Distant metastasis refers to cancer that has spread from the original tumour to distant organs or distant lymph nodes).

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The association between suicidal behavior and low levels of cholesterol in people with schizophrenia.

This study was published in Medical Science Monitor 2014 Aug 21;20:1486-90
 
Study title and authors:
Suicidal behavior in schizophrenia may be related to low lipid levels.
Ainiyet B, Rybakowski JK
Department of Psychiatry, Akerhus Universytetssykehus, Oslo, Norway.
 
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25141886

The aim of the study was to investigate the correlation between suicidal behaviour and cholesterol levels in schizophrenia patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital during the three months prior to their admission. The study included 148 (69 males, 79 females) schizophrenia patients with an average age of 32 years, all recently admitted to psychiatric hospital due to acute exacerbation of their mental illness. 

The study found:
(a) Schizophrenic men with suicidal thoughts had 21% lower cholesterol levels than schizophrenic men without suicidal thoughts.
(b) Schizophrenic men who attempted suicide had 27% lower cholesterol levels than schizophrenic men without suicidal thoughts.
(c) Schizophrenic women with suicidal thoughts had 26% lower cholesterol levels than schizophrenic women without suicidal thoughts.
(d) Schizophrenic women who attempted suicide had 31% lower cholesterol levels than schizophrenic women without suicidal thoughts.
(e) Schizophrenic men with suicidal thoughts had 21% lower levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol than schizophrenic men without suicidal thoughts.
(f) Schizophrenic men who attempted suicide had 36% lower levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL)cholesterol than schizophrenic men without suicidal thoughts.
(g) Schizophrenic women with suicidal thoughts had 30% lower levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol than schizophrenic women without suicidal thoughts.
(h) Schizophrenic women who attempted suicide had 35% lower levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol than schizophrenic women without suicidal thoughts.
(i) Schizophrenic men with suicidal thoughts had 37% lower triglyceride levels than schizophrenic men without suicidal thoughts.
(j) Schizophrenic men who attempted suicide had 56% lower triglyceride levels than schizophrenic men without suicidal thoughts.
(k) Schizophrenic women with suicidal thoughts had 40% lower triglyceride levels than schizophrenic women without suicidal thoughts.
(l) Schizophrenic women who attempted suicide had 41% lower triglyceride levels than schizophrenic women without suicidal thoughts.

Ainiyet concluded: "The results of our study add to a growing body of evidence showing the association between suicidal behavior and low levels of total cholesterol in people with schizophrenia. In addition, we found that this association may also apply to low total lipids, and, in most cases, to low LDL cholesterol and triglycerides".

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Suicide associated with low cholesterol

This study was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders 2004 Aug;81(2):161-6
 
Study title and authors:
Clinical application of low serum cholesterol as an indicator for suicide risk in major depression.
Kim YK, Myint AM
Department of Psychiatry, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea. yongku@korea.ac.kr
 
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15306143

This study explored the relationship between cholesterol levels and suicide risk in patients with depression. The study included 149 major depressive disorder patients admitted to an emergency room following a suicide attempt, 149 non-suicidal depressive controls, and 251 normal controls.

The study found:
(a) Depressed suicidal patients had 21% lower cholesterol levels than the normal subjects.
(b) Depressed non-suicidal patients had 5% lower cholesterol levels than the normal subjects.
(c) In suicide patients, cholesterol levels were 12% lower in violent suicide patients than non-violent suicide patients.

This study suggests that low cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of suicide.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Low cholesterol levels linked to mania

This study was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders 2007 Jan;97(1-3):247-51

Study title and authors:
Platelet serotonin and serum lipids in psychotic mania.
Sagud M, Mihaljevic-Peles A, Pivac N, Jakovljevic M, Muck-Seler D.
University Hospital Center Zagreb, Department of Psychiatry, Kispaticeva 12, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia.

This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16820211

One of the aims of this study was to determine the relationship between cholesterol levels and mania. The study included 40 male patients with type I bipolar affective disorder, current episode mania (DSM-IV criteria), and in 32 healthy male subjects.

The study found:
(a) The cholesterol levels of the patients with mania were 14% lower than the cholesterol levels of the healthy subjects.
(b) The HDL cholesterol levels of the patients with mania were 7% lower than the HDL cholesterol levels of the healthy subjects.
(c) The LDL cholesterol levels of the patients with mania were 20% lower than the LDL cholesterol levels of the healthy subjects.

The study shows that patients with mania have low levels of cholesterol and LDL cholesterol compared to healthy people.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Low cholesterol levels weaken the heart

This study was published in Circulation Journal 2014 Oct 30
 
Study title and authors:
Low Blood Pressure, Low Serum Cholesterol and Anemia Predict Early Necessity of Ventricular Assist Device Implantation in Patients With Advanced Heart Failure at the Time of Referral From Non-Ventricular Assist Device Institutes.
Fujino T, Kinugawa K, Hatano M, Imamura T, Muraoka H, Minatsuki S, Inaba T, Maki H, Kinoshita O, Nawata K, Yao A, Ono M, Komuro I.
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo.
 
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25354551

A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a mechanical pump that's used to support heart function and blood flow in people who have weakened hearts. The device takes blood from a lower chamber of the heart and helps pump it to the body and vital organs, just as a healthy heart would.

This study analysed the factors predicting early necessity of a ventricular assist device in patients with advanced heart failure. The study included 46 patients who had a history of hospitalisation for heart failure management.

Regarding cholesterol levels, the study found that patients with cholesterol less than 144 mg/dL (3.7 mmol/L) had a 709% increased risk of early necessity of a ventricular assist device compared to patients with higher cholesterol levels.