Statin Use For The Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

A review of statin use for the prevention of cardiovascular disease shows very positive support for the use of statin medication. My readers know that I am very much in favor of lifestyle changes to lower cardiovascular risk and this is always the preferred first strategy. This just published article validates the safety and net benefit of medication in the event a person’s risk is not optimal. Contrary to much lay literature the science on this is very strong. Read the study abstract for complete information. I felt as a bottom line comment to the readers an excerpt from the article is very important to note.

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“The incidence of cancers, myalgia, rhabdomyolysis, liver enzyme elevation, renal dysfunction, or arthritis did not differ between the groups, although not all trials reported fully on these outcomes. Rates of adverse events (17%) and stopping treatment (12%) were similar in statin and placebo/control groups.”

 

Bottom line here: A large and mature body of literature (and my clinical experience) supports all-cause mortality benefit from the use of statin therapy for persons at risk for heart attack, large vessel atherosclerosis and stroke. If all-cause mortality is reduced, this by definition means subjects using medication are not trading a heart attack for fatal liver disease (a myth), or cancer induced by the medication. If you need it, you should feel comfortable taking it.

About thedoctorsreport

Dr. Kordonowy is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has been in private practice since 1993. His group practice is in Fort Myers, Florida. His website is: www.drkordonowy.com. He earned his degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kansas and completed his residency as Chief Resident at Orlando Regional Hospital System. As Chief Resident, Dr. Kordonowy was recognized as the Outstanding Resident by the American College of Physicians. He is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, and the American Society of Internal Medicine. In December 2005, Dr. Kordonowy became Board Certified in the new field of Clinical Lipidology by the American Board of Clinical Lipidology. Lipidology is the specialty of diagnosis and management of cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism disorders. Cardiovascular disease risk assessment is also part of this specialty. He now serves as president of the Independent Physicians Association of Lee County. He is active in the Lee County Medical Society, the Florida Medical Society , the Florida Lipid Foundation, National Lipid Association and the American Medical Association.
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3 Responses to Statin Use For The Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

  1. don scott says:

    what about those few people who suffer side effects(muscular problems and liver damage). Never a problem for me after 25 years of use but have friends who have had both problems
    Don Scott

    • According to the study referenced, such side effects were equal to the placebo group. Liver enzyme elevations in lab work sometimes occur but are usually mild and go away with ongoing therapy. There are drug interactions with other medications that might stress liver function and require a reassessment of a patient’s drug regimen. I’ve actually seen prescription strength niacin cause more significant liver enzyme elevations than statin therapy alone.

  2. Jerry Shepherd says:

    18% increase in T2 outcome jumps off the page, am I reading that right? This seems to indicate a tight-rope balancing act when it comes to preventative strategies. What if a patient has no signs of CVD but has elevated lipids, at what point do we elevate the risk of T2 in the name of possible atheroma prevention? Should statins be a part of an integrative prevention paradigm even in asymptomatic patients with no known plaque burden?

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