New statins study claims 'illusion' of safety and efficacy

Cholesterol was big news last week as the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee declared the links between dietary and blood cholesterol are a moot point. Now, yet another study is casting aspersions on cholesterol-maintenance drugs.

Reporting on their research in Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, investigators David M. Diamond and Uffe Ravnskov argue that statins are not as safe or effective as the public has been led to believe.

“Statin advocates have used statistical deception to create the illusion that statins are 'wonder drugs,' when the reality is that their modest benefits are more than offset by their adverse effects,” the researchers wrote.

The researchers have argued that statistical tools exaggerate the beneficial effects of statins. While they may produce a dramatic reduction in cholesterol levels, much has been ignored or overlooked about their adverse side effects and “inflated claims,” according to Diamond and Ravnskov.

The authors referenced one study that claimed statins produced a 54% reduction in heart attacks, when they allegedly succeeded in reducing coronary events only by less than 1%.