What follows below was sent as a supplement to Dr. Uffe Ravnskov's April newsletter. It is powerful evidence that statin treatment is doing much more harm than good, and it may not be doing any good.
As medical articles may be difficult to read by those without a medical background. I shall tell you more about the paper by Vancheri and his coworkers, mentioned in my previous newsletter.
As mentioned these authors found no association between the degree of statin increase and the degree of mortality lowering in 12 countries. The fact is, that heart mortality started to decrease already in the early seventies, long time before the introduction of the statins, and the decrease continued in the same rate after the start of statin treatment. This is one of the strongest argument against its alleged benefit. If statin treatment was able to lower heart mortality, the rate should of course have been larger after its introduction in the early nineties, but as you can see from the following diagrams, it didn’t.
The first one shows the decline of heart mortality in Sweden between 1985 and 2005 ("Antal döde" means number of deaths)¨. I have used the figures from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare
The second figure demonstrates that the same happened in the US between 1979 and 2006. The blue line shows how cardiovascular mortality should have been if the lowering went at the same rate during all the years; the read line shows what happened in reality. As you can see the decrease became even a little slower in the nineties, at the time where statin treatment was introduced.
And there is more evidence that statin treatment is useless. Four years ago, Staffan Nilsson and his coworkers at the University of Linköping published a study of acute myocardial infarction and statin use in Sweden They compared the use of statins with the incidence and mortality of this disease in all the municipalities between 1998 and 2002 and found the same association as in the studies mentioned above. However, there was no association within each community. In some of them both statin use and mortality increased; in other communities both of them decreased.
Obviously we cannot claim that the decline of heart mortality in most of the world is caused by the increased use of statins; there must be dotter reasons. Some of them are probably the decreasing number of smokers and better treatment of heart disease. When I was a young doctor in the sixties for instance, the standard treatment of an acute heart attack was six weeks bed rest, which resulted in many cases of venous thrombosis, and venous thrombi may loosen and go to the pulmonary arteries and kill the patient. Today patients with acute myocardial infarction are mobilized as soon as they are able to walk.
In my view the cholesterol campaign is the greatest medical scandal in modern time. In the early sixties there were about 8000 active doctors in Sweden. Today there are more than 40,000 and we need more although the number of inhabitants has increased from eight to nine millions only. How come? Could the reason be that almost a million Swedes are on statin treatment and that such treatment has many serious side effects, most of which are unknown to most doctors?