X-Message-Number: 17953
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 20:49:16 EST
Subject: statins--possible negatives?

Recent publicity touts the benefits of statins for risk of heart attack and 
stroke.However, a web site called <medicalreasoning.com> contains the 
following. Who has written this is undisclosed, or at least I have not been 
able to find it.

>As of this writing, no study has shown statins or any other cholesterol 
drugs to lower overall mortality in women

>No studies have examined the impact of statins in randomized trials in those 
over age 75. Epidemiological studies show >higher cholesterol to be 
protective, rather than harmful, in this age group, so it cannot be assumed 
that lowering >cholesterol confers benefit exceeding risk. Low cholesterol 
may be a risk factor for heart arrhythmias, which are the >leading cause of 
death if heart attacks occur; and in the elderly, a heart rhythm abnormality 
called atrial fibrillation, that >may be increased with low cholesterol, is a 
particularly important risk factor for stroke in the older elderly. It is 
possible >that there are subgroups of those over age 75 for whom statins 
confer benefit exceeding risk, but this has never been >demonstrated. This 
would most likely be the case in persons at very high risk of death from 
heart disease, who are at >comparatively low risk for other illness and 

>Some people report changes in memory, attention, or concentration on 
statins.  They may have trouble finding the right >word; may forget tasks 
they started to do; and may have trouble following conversations. Some people 
describe "holes >in their memory". Some people worry that they are developing 
Alzheimers. Of course, since poeple on statin drugs are >often older, and may 
be experiencing age-related loss of memory, it makes it difficult to know 
whether the drugs are >responsible.     

>Also, a number of studies have shown that people with naturally low 
cholesterol, or those on drugs to lower cholesterol, >have higher rates of 
death from suicide and accidents.       

Any expert comment?

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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