Navigating Healthcare – Patient Safety and Personal Healthcare Management

Should Everyone Take a Statin

Posted in Preventative Healthcare by drnic on November 11, 2008

The news today was all over the wire and certainly subject to much discussion and coverage. The Statin Outcome study showed significant reduction in cardiovascular events by a dramatic 44% compared to placebo (statistically significant with a p <0.001)

The study went further and certainly the commentators did and were suggesting that this should be used as a prophylactic. In the case of one discussion I had with a physician he likened i to Fluoride and advocated putting it in the water! Described in one case as Aspirin of the 21st Century

This was output from JUPITER (Justification for the Use of statins in Primary prevention: an
Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin) which as the name suggests is looking for evidence to justify the use of Statins. While it seems likely that these drugs can be helpful there is insufficient attention to life style changes that can have as much if not more of an impact and it begs the question do we continue to find answers to health problems that are a result of our own poor lifestyle choices
Loose weight, exercise, eat less, eat healthier foods (less meat is a big part of this)

As one commentator, Dr. Mark Hlatky put it:

About 120 people would have to take Crestor for two years to prevent a
single heart attack, stroke or death

and in terms of cost

Treating them all with Crestor would cost $9 billion a year and prevent
about 30,000 heart attacks, strokes or deaths

Not sure this is the best spend of our combined health dollars and certainly not for my individual dollars. Media hype of course will no doubt push up sales and buying Astra Zeneca stick right now might be a god short term investment but long term solution to the major killer ……… I think better healthier lifestyles is the better, more cost effective choice for everyone


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