Study title and authors:
Point: Why statins have failed to reduce mortality in just about anybody
Eddie Vos, Colin P. Rose, Pierre Biron
127 Courser Road, Sutton, QC, Canada J0E 2K0
Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3H 1V6
This paper can be accessed at: http://www.lipidjournal.com/article/S1933-2874(13)00052-4/abstract
This paper reviewed the scientific evidence regarding statins and death rates.
(i) In JUPITER (Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention: An Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin trial), a trial involving 17,802 participants randomised to rosuvastatin or placebo found for all participants the cardiovascular mortality was not reduced.
(ii) All published trials with placebo controls conclusively establish that statins do not reduce mortality in women.
(iii) There are no mortality figures suggesting a positive effect for people taking statins for more than five or six years.
(iv) In the PROSPER (PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk) study, in patients older than 70 years of age, there appeared to be arising increased rate of cancer, which may indicate that longer intervals of statin therapy may have other costs in the elderly.
(v) For both genders, the lack of all-cause mortality benefit is also illustrated by all published studies using atorvastatin vs. placebo, including the summary of 49 in-house studies including 14,236 individual patients.
(vi) The secondary prevention study SPARCL (Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels) ended with five more deaths on highdose atorvastatin than on placebo.
(vii) To date, there are no placebo-controlled studies showing a mortality benefit when patients used lovastatin, fluvastatin, cerivastatin, or pitavastatin.
(viii) No mortality benefit from statins has ever been shown in patients older than 70 years of age.
(ix) No mortality benefit from statins has ever been shown in patients with heart failure.
(x) No mortality benefit from statins has ever been shown in patients with kidney failure.
(xi) Patients believing consciously or subliminally that ‘‘their cholesterol is under control’’ because they take a statin may postpone embarking on lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking and abandoning eating habits that produce obesity and diabetes.
(xii) There is evidence that statins themselves promote diabetes, a life-long health risk.
Vos advises: "Because the lack of circulating statins is not the cause of atherosclerosis and their benefit on mortality is highly questionable, we should concentrate on lifestyle changes. Exercise, no smoking, and a healthy diet are well demonstrated in population studies to reduce the high mortality seen in so many economically developed countries".
He concludes that statins: "do not prevent cardiovascular and all-cause deaths".