Statins, Good or Bad?
Poor Statins are getting a pasting again in the Daily Express. Their article states they only increase your life expectancy by 5 days!
My view on high cholesterol is that, you should be given a window of opportunity to address the high cholesterol by attempting to change your lifestyle and diet. There is evidence to suggest that cutting out sugars, such as alcohol, starchy foods such as bread and pasta, reducing 0% fat products and increasing saturated fat actually reduces your cholesterol. Plant sterol drinks have also shown to reduce high cholesterol.
We know that there is an association between high cholesterol and high blood pressure. This is an association however, and may not be a causative factor. We also know high blood pressure is a cause of heart disease. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, hereditary high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, over weight and consume a relatively high amount of alcohol, then the risk to benefit ratio would sway vastly towards taking a statin. In this situation the risk of not taking a statin –a heart attack or stroke – far outweighs the risks associated with the drug.
If a doctor is going to prescribe a statin to healthy individual to protect against future heart disease, then obviously the risk to benefit ratio would suggest not taking a statin.
The key, as always; is to have an informed discussion with your GP, rather than being guided by what you may read or hear elsewhere.