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18 November 2016

Experts Now Say Everyone Between 40 and 75 Should Probably Be Prescribed a Statin

(The statins prescribed in Europe.)
We know of several persons suffering from statin side effects.  One has had irreversible muscle weakness in her legs.  Another has had a number of symptoms described in various studies on statin side effects:  a rare eye disorder and breast cancer.  Doctors in French-speaking Switzerland continue to hand them out like candy.  Doctors who speak out about statin side effects are disparaged by the conventional medical milieu.

If You Are Over 40 Should You Be Taking A Statin?
by Joe Graedon, People's Pharmancy, 
17 November 2016

Experts now say that everyone between 40 and 75 should probably be prescribed a statin. Are statin side effects a figment of the imagination as some insist?

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has just come out with recommendations that doctors consider a statin for anyone between 40 and 75. Whether or not the physician prescribes such a drug should depend, says the USPSTF, on whether patients have any cardiovascular risk factors that would put them at a 10 percent or higher chance of a heart attack over the next 10 years.

Three years ago, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association produced guidelines suggesting that everyone with a 7.5 percent risk of a heart event should be taking a statin. This would result in even more individuals taking these drugs. Indeed, almost 40 million Americans already take them, up from about 22 million people in 2002.

There is not enough data for the Task Force to determine whether older adults beyond the age of 75 benefit from statins. Some experts are concerned that people at advanced ages are more vulnerable to possible side effects such as muscle pain, weakness, cataracts and diabetes. Others insist that statins do not cause such adverse reactions.

Stories from Readers:

For some people, especially older adults, statin side effects can be debilitating. Many cardiologists insist that reports of adverse reactions are inflated and statins don’t really cause complications. We can only share what visitors to this web site have been saying for many years:

SHK in Arkansas:

“My husband went from a strong man of 65 (who chopped his own wood) and could lift extremely heavy objects to someone who couldn’t lift his arms. He couldn’t sleep because of the pain in his shoulders.

“The doctor took him off his statin drug and the last two months he has continued to lose muscle tone. He still can’t get out of his recliner by himself. He now has pain in almost every joint.

“I put him on CoQ10 last week and we are watching and waiting. He is miserable. He had been on his statin for over 20 years so we fear this is permanent. Sleep is impossible which makes the fatigue even harder to deal with.”
Do Statins Really Cause Muscle Pain?

Physicians admit that statins can sometimes cause severe muscle pain and weakness. Things like rhabdomyolysis or necrotizing myopathy are considered extremely rare. What remains controversial is whether patients can experience muscle pain and weakness without elevations in a blood marker called CK (creatine kinase). Many doctors insist that such reports (like the ones described above) are psychosomatic reactions (all in the head). That’s because the randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of statins did not reveal any increase in myalgia (muscle pain), muscle cramps or muscle weakness.

An article in JAMA titled “What to Believe and Do About Statin-Associated Adverse Effects” (November 15, 2016) by Paul D. Thompson, MD, asks the question:

“How could the statin RCTs miss detecting mild statin-related muscle adverse effects such as myalgia? By not asking. A review of 44 statin RCTs reveals that only 1 directly asked about muscle-related adverse effects.”

If investigators do not ask about muscle pain, there is a good likelihood that they will not discover it and will not report it in the result section of their publications. That means that other health professionals will read statin studies that never mention muscle pain, weakness, cataracts or diabetes as side effects.

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