Cardiovascular disease is ranked as the leading cause of death, accounting for 17 million deaths worldwide, or about 30% of total deaths. Statins are cholesterol lowering drugs, which are most commonly prescribed to cardiovascular patients. Recently results of a new Cochrane Systematic Review reveal that statins provide no benefits to those who have no history of heart disease. Furthermore the review stated that statins even may cause more harm to some patients.
About the Study
The researchers analyzed 14 statin trials dating from 1994 to 2006 that involved more than 34,000 patients. Majority of participating patients had no history of heart disease. The review was prepared by the Cochrane Collaboration — an international network that collects the best available evidence at the time and summarizes it for doctors.
The findings revealed some positive results that statins
- Reduced the risk of “all-cause mortality” or dying of any cause by 17%.
- Showed 30% cent reduction in fatal and non-fatal heart attacks and strokes
- Reduced 34% need for bypass surgery or angioplasty
However, findings also concluded important shortcomings about the effects of statins in people who have no previous history of CVD (cardiovascular disease).
- Half the studies failed to report adverse events
- Investigators showed significant findings in the trials, rather than presenting all the findings
- Most of the studies were funded by the drug...
companies, so there is an incentive to) find significant findings
- Most of the trials failed to answer the question, what are the effects of statins in primary prevention?
Researchers told that prescribing statins to people at low risk of heart attack is both wasting money and exposing people to potential adverse effects.
Statins have been widely used drug for lowering the blood cholesterol level by heart patients. The recent Cochrane Systematic Review throws light on the shortcomings of the clinical trials that have been used by drug makers to promote their drugs to doctors and convinced them to prescribe the medication to people even who have no previous history of CVD. I hope this review will help health professionals to follow their own judgment when it comes to prescribing the statins to patients.