Let us take a step back and consider our recent discussion about statin science in context.
At the risk of being repetitious… the Cochrane Collaboration is considered by many to be the equivalent of the Supreme Court of science. Yet the authors of the 2013 statin meta-analysis used another group’s sloppy work, incorrectly assessed it, then released a glowing report card for statins based on this bad science.
Fortunately for humanity, eagle-eyed critics then took apart this bad science (and bad meta-science) in the British Medical Journal. Once again, per Dr. Briffa: “the BMJ authors used the data from the CTT meta-analysis and found that risk of death was not reduced by statins at all.”
Meanwhile, almost at the same time as these scientific shenanigans were going on, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology suddenly sounded the alarm and urged nearly 1/3rd of the United States population to get on statins, ASAP.
Let this all sink in. This is big stuff.
Interested readers can look up all these meta-analyses. They are all publicly available.
Dr. Briffa continues in his analysis:
“The BMJ authors draw our attention to the fact that every single trial included in the CTT was industry funded. Such trials are well known to report results more favorably and perhaps downplay risks than independently funded research. The BMJ authors cite specific ways in which the adverse effects of drugs seen in clinical trials can be “minimized.” These include:
- The exclusion of individuals from trials with known health issues likely to be exacerbated by statins or signal susceptibility to statin side effects (such as liver, kidney and muscle disease);
- The use of a “run-in” period before the study starts which detects and then excludes individuals who do not tolerate statins;
- The possibility that individuals “drop out” from the study because of side effects, meaning that the incidence of some side effects can be “lost” from the data;
- Failure of the study investigators to assess and monitor adverse events such as muscle damage and changes in brain function;
- Failure to properly ascertain or report adverse effects.”
All this sloppy, possibly corrupted science notwithstanding, it is possible that independently funded randomized control trials could corroborate the hypothesis that statin drugs do not have serious side effects.
However, appreciate that — despite the rushed, sloppy state of the research — health authorities have been pushing a massive nationwide program to add millions and millions more people to the roster of Lipitor clients.
If you have been a victim of statin side effects from Lipitor, the Davis & Crump team can help you. Call us now at 800-277-0300.
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