Appropriate Clinical Use of Statins: A Discussion of the Evidence, Scope, Benefits and Risk

Publication

Alternative Therapies

Author(s)

Andrew Campbell, MD, Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD; David
Perlmutter, MD; and Stephen Sinatra, MD.

Abstract

It has been stated many times that the most prescribed class of drugs in the last decade was statins. The widespread belief that statins represent an effective preventative measure for patients with elevated cholesterol levels in the belief that this would reduce their risk factors for CVD has proliferated to such a degree that the question has been posed: “Should everyone on the planet – including the possibility of children – be taking statins?”

Resistance to this hypothesis has been building, and while there is clear evidence that statin use is indicated in specific circumstances, current interpretation of the literature may not support such liberal application of this class of pharmaceuticals. To further the discourse, Alternative Therapies convened a panel of prominent physicians for a roundtable discussion focusing on the appropriate use of statins in practice.

The discussion was led by Alternative Therapies Editor in Chief, Andrew Campbell, MD, and also included statin researcher Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD; neurologist David Perlmutter, MD; and cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, MD. The discussion was conducted in conversational style, so not every point was addressed by all the participants. And although our panel did not always agree on every item; the discussion of literature regarding the use of statins did reveal some interesting common ground: that there are significant risks of adverse reactions to statins, that there is little proof that statins are effective in reducing cardiovascular mortality with the exception of a narrowly defined population, and that statins remain a valuable, necessary indication for a particular segment of the population.

The discussion that follows includes many references to the body of literature regarding statins. As a convenience to the reader, Alternative Therapies has inserted references to these articles upon the first mention of each. (Altern Ther Health Med. 2013;19(suppll):l4-25.)

Date

December 1, 2013

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