Now that Gobble Gobble is over…should we talk about Statins?

I am sure many of you have noticed that Statins, or better known as cholesterol-lowering drugs, have been all over the news recently….but you may ask why? How appropriate, especially after the gluttony of thanksgiving.  So let’s talk about the recent interest in Statins…

A recent JAMA (Journal of American Medical Assoc.) article outlined the latest data on Statins and its early benefits.  You may want to talk to your doctor next time about whether you should be placed on this medication.  I remember 10 years ego when I was a medical student, the cardiology residents were all talking about putting themselves on statin drugs based on what they were seeing in the heart cath labs, when they were stenting blocked arteries.

For years many in the public and the medical community argue against the widespread use of statins for the primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, because of their side-effects.  However, now with the accumulation of long-term data,  the evidence shows that statins reduce cardiovascular events (such as heart attacks) and total mortality in individuals with low risk factors.  In this article, Taylor and colleagues report that statins significantly reduce all causes of mortality by 14%, fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular disease by 22%, coronary heart disease by 27%, stroke by 22%, and coronary revascularization 38%.  Interestingly, these risk reduction benefits occurred all types of patients, even in the absence of an increased risk of cancer, myalgia, rhabdomyolysis, liver enzyme elevation, renal dysfunction, or arthritis.  Amazing numbers!

Here is a link to the actual article.

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1785550&utm_source=Silverchair%20Information%20Systems&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=JAMA%3AOnlineFirst11%2F25%2F2013