Sent to you by Warbenekar1 via Google Reader:
We have all been led to believe that cholesterol is bad and that lowering it is good. Because of extensive pharmaceutical marketing to both doctors and patients we think that using statin drugs is proven to work to lower the risk of heart attacks and death.
But on what scientific evidence is this based, what does that evidence really show?
Roger Williams once said something that is very applicable to how we commonly view the benefits of statins. "There are liars, damn liars, and statisticians."
Read the article for a list of what statins can and can't do.
So why did the 2004 National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines expand the previous guidelines to recommend that more people take statins (from 13 million to 40 million) and that people who don't have heart disease should take them to prevent heart disease. Could it have been that 8 of the 9 experts on the panel who developed these guidelines had financial ties to the drug industry? Thirty-four other non-industry affiliated experts sent a petition to protest the recommendations to the National Institutes of Health saying the evidence was weak. It was like having a fox guard the chicken coop.