Monday, November 24, 2008

When it comes to statins, don't believe the hype

From the Globe and Mail:
The headlines were dramatic and unequivocal:

"Cholesterol drug causes risk of heart attack to plummet" - Fox News.

"Cholesterol-fighting drugs show wider benefit" - The New York Times.

"Cholesterol drug cuts heart risk in healthy patients" - The Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times article summarized the exciting news in a front-page story saying that "millions more people could benefit from taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins."

That's big medical/business news, because statins are already the bestselling drugs in the world, with sales in excess of $20-billion (U.S.).

Quoting some of the world's top heart researchers, media reports touted the importance of a blood test for C-reactive protein. That's because those benefiting from statins had high levels of CRP (a marker for inflammation) rather than high levels of LDL cholesterol, which is usually the criterion for statin prescription. ...more

No comments: