Last year, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) got together to develop new cholesterol guidelines to better determine who is suited for one of the statin (cholesterol-lowering drugs) on the market. This sounds like a conscientious effort on the part of the medical community to temper the use of statin drugs (which a scandalous 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 40 takes) to those who can actually benefit. Unfortunately, the panel—made up of volunteer “experts”—was affiliated with over 50 different drug companies, hinting at an underlying motive to keep statin use going strong. And going strong it will be, suggest Duke researchers, who estimate that these new cholesterol guidelines will hook 13 million more Americans on statins.
What the New Guidelines Entail
According to the new cholesterol guidelines, you’re a shoe-in for statins if you answer yes to any of the following questions:
- Do you have heart disease?
- Do you have diabetes? (either type 1 or type 2)
- Is your LDL cholesterol above 190?
- Is your 10-year risk of a heart attack greater than 7.5 percent? (Determined by a cardiovascular risk calculator that has been shown to overestimate risk by 75-150%!)
There has been an outcry against the new guidelines by medical and alternative health practitioners who fear that increased use of statins will have more deleterious than helpful effects.
What Duke Researchers Say
Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2005-2010, Duke researchers ascertained the new cholesterol guidelines will increase the eligibility for statins in the United States by 12.8 million. What individuals account for such a drastic increase? Older adults WITHOUT heart disease! Specifically…
- Americans ages 40 to 75 who are eligible for statin use will increase from 43.2 million to 56 million (a difference of 12.8)
- Males ages 60-75 eligible for statins will increase by 57%
- Females ages 60-75 eligible for statins will increase by 33%
The New England Journal of Medicine reports:
“…the new guidelines would recommend statin therapy for more adults who would be expected to have future cardiovascular events (higher sensitivity) but would also include many adults who would not have future events (lower specificity).”
Why You Should Be Cautious of Statins
There are some individuals who can benefit from statin use, but statins are causing more harm than good to the vast majority of drugged patients. Statins can actually damage your heart, instigate diabetes, disrupt hormone production, impair sexual function, lead to cognitive decline, and exacerbate muscle problems, among many other adverse side effects.
How about preventing heart disease the old fashioned way…with plenty of exercise, hearty nutrition, and healthy vitamin D levels from safe sun exposure? Avoid the Western prescription of numbing the symptom and instead nip the root cause of heart disease in the bud. Some heart healthy exercise and nutrition can do the trick far better than a drug developed mainly for Big Pharma profit.