New Cholesterol Treatment Guidelines Could Double the Number of People on Dangerous Statins—Including Perfectly Healthy People

One in four Americans over the age of 45 currently take a statin drug, despite the fact that there are over 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to increased cancer risk.

Now, new treatment guidelines for high cholesterol will likely DOUBLE the number of Americans being prescribed these dangerous drugs, bringing the total to an estimated—and staggering—72 million people!

The new guidelines, laid out in the report 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults1,2 were issued by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology on November 12.

The updated treatment guidelines now focus on risk factors rather than cholesterol levels.

The guideline report was prepared by a panel of “experts” who volunteered their time, and is ostensibly based on an analysis of randomized controlled trials. Not surprisingly, the panel members are affiliated with more than 50 different drug companies, many of which have a financial interest in the outcome of this report. One of the authors even has stock in a medical malpractice firm.

According to the New York Times,3 several committee members ended up dropped out of this investigative panel because they were “unhappy with the direction the committee was going.”

How May the New Guidelines Affect You?

As explained by the American Heart Association,4 the new guidelines advise doctors to look at certain risk factors in order to determine if a patient should be prescribed a statin drug, or whether he or she should simply focus on heart healthy lifestyle changes. The problem is, virtually no one will fall into the latter category.

If you answer “yes” to ANY of the following four questions, the treatment protocol calls for a statin drug:

1.Do you have heart disease?
2.Do you have diabetes? (either type 1 or type 2)
3.Is your LDL cholesterol above 190?
4.Is your 10-year risk of a heart attack greater than 7.5 percent?

The calculation to ascertain your 10-year heart attack risk was developed by a committee chaired by Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones. He explained the cardiovascular risk calculator,5 to CNN:6

“We were able to generate very robust risk equations for both non-Hispanic white men and women as well as African-American men and women. Those equations factor in age, sex, race, total and HDL (‘good’) cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels, blood pressure treatment status as well as diabetes and current smoking status. Each of those factors is assigned a numerical value and can be used to determine individual risk percentage using an online calculator.”

Well-Known Integrated Cardiologist Decimates Treatment Guidelines

Dr. Stephen Sinatra7 wrote an in-depth article in which he decimates every single one of these four treatment guidelines. According to him, the new guidelines are at best 20-25 percent accurate, and here’s why:

1.The heart disease criteria, while it might be appropriate for older men, does not really work for women. There’s no data demonstrating that the benefits of statins outweigh the health risks in women—risks that include diabetes and breast cancer.

According to Dr. Sinatra: “[I]n my opinion, the only women who should be on statins are those with advanced coronary artery disease who continue to deteriorate despite lifestyle interventions. I believe that less than one percent of women with coronary artery disease fall into this category.”

2.In short, giving a drug that causes diabetes to someone who already has diabetes is nonsensical. It can only make matters worse. What’s more, data indicates that statins can cause arterial calcification in diabetic men who take the drug. Thirdly, statins can cause cataracts, which is a common problem in diabetics. The drug may therefore increase this risk.

3.This may be appropriate if you have genetic familial hypercholesterolemia, as this makes you resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol, such as diet and exercise. This condition is quite rare, affecting an estimated one in 500. In the absence of this genetic situation, treating high LDL levels has little validity.

4.As you will see below, the 10-year heart attack risk calculation has been “programmed” in such a way as to make patients out of virtually everyone. Besides that, Dr. Sinatra points out that the complexity of estimating risk based on age, race, blood pressure, smoking habits and other criteria is quite likely to lead to overzealous prescribing.

The CV Calculator—‘A Major Embarrassment’

The CV risk calculator, which basically evaluates those who do not immediately qualify by having heart disease, diabetes or elevated LDL, appears to have some very significant flaws. And again, not surprisingly, the flaws are such that a vast majority of people end up having a greater than 7.5 percent risk of a heart attack within the next 10 years—thereby qualifying them for “preventive” statin treatment…


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