Statins induce anti-inflammatory effects in upper airway inflammation
Statins induce anti-inflammatory effects in human airway epithelial inflammation. Statins may play a role in the treatment and prevention of chronic rhinosinusitis and pulmonary exacerbation of obstructive airway diseases.
Amplify’d from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
See this Amp at http://amplify.com/u/a12znc
"Statins" and hemorrhagic stroke
January 11, 2011
A study published yesterday suggests that certain cholesterol lowering medications should be avoided in people who have a history of hemorrhagic stroke. This is getting tons of news, so many of you may be wondering why this is or if this applies to you.
The cholesterol lowering medications in question are the “statins”, including drugs such as Lipitor, Crestor, and Zocor. A hemorrhagic stroke is a stroke that occurs as a result of bleeding in the brain, as compared to an ischemic stroke which is usually caused by a blood clot.
I first want to point out that this is not breaking news. This has been a concern for several years now, ever since a major study showed that although statins are effective at preventing ischemic strokes in certain patients, they may cause an increased risk of hemorrhagic strokes. The benefit of preventing the ischemic strokes is so large though that it is usually worth the risk of the rarer hemorrhagic stroke. But the concern is that the benefit won’t be enough in people who have already had a hemorrhagic stroke before, since their risk of recurrence is very high.
The study published yesterday was not collecting any new information. This is important, since the type of study performed is not considered the best quality evidence for making decisions in the medical field. It was simply a mathematical model of information that we already know, used to simulate what the benefit/risk ratio of using a statin is in certain patients. The model suggests that the benefit does not outweigh the risk if someone has had a prior hemorrhagic stroke.
This could get insanely long and boring, so I’ll cut to the chase. Based on this study and the results of previous studies, in most cases it is probably too dangerous to take a statin if you have a history of hemorrhagic stroke. This can be said much more strongly if you have had the stroke recently. I do want to caution, however, that this is based on very limited scientific information. It is not known if lower doses of statins, or if statins other than Lipitor and Zocor increase hemorrhagic stroke risk. And in some patients with heart disease, the benefit of taking a statin might outweigh the risk of stroke anyway. There is often a fine line between a treatment being beneficial overall or being harmful overall, so it could differ for every individual. I will just encourage you to speak with your doctor if you have a history of hemorrhagic stroke and have been prescribed a statin.
Aaron Emmel, PharmD, BCNSP
Statins vs. alternatives: The best way to lower your cholesterol
BY CHRISTOPHER HAGER, MD
“Heart of the Matter”
Lancaster General Health
Confused about taking a statin to prevent heart disease? With the recent Food and Drug Administration limits placed on high-dose simvastatin—known as Zocor—it’s easy to forget that statins have revolutionized the treatment of high cholesterol.
For some reason, statins seem to be the “easy target” for many of my patients who bring an article in from the newspaper, read a magazine in the reception area, or want to share what they heard from their neighbor friend.
Almost invariably, someone reports that statins cause dementia, liver damage, or heard that an herbal supplement may be a better choice. While there are alternatives (albeit, not as effective) to statins and risks and side effects associated with statins, it’s easy to miss the overwhelming evidence behind our recommendations to take statins.
The Health, United States, 2010 report estimates 32 million Americans are on statin therapy, such as Zocor, Lipitor, or Crestor. The report goes on to say cholesterol levels and heart disease death rates are down, although other behaviors, such as diet and exercise, also contribute to the lower numbers.
The Dark Truth About the "Wonder Drug" Millions Swear By (Posted by Dr. Mercola, Oct 26, 2011)
The following is an excerpt from an article about statin drugs. Statins are drugs perscribed by doctors for high cholesterol.
“Statin drug side effects can easily be misdiagnosed as unrelated health problems, which leads to polypharmacy and unnecessary drug treatments. Statins are known to cause nerve- and muscle damage, and are contraindicated during pregnancy due to high risk of birth defects. They can also lead to a number of other health complications. The true dangers of statin drugs, which suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, are becoming increasingly apparent. Dr. Seneff provides a dozen sources for you to review to increase your knowledge base about this hazardous drug.” (Posted by Dr. Mercola, Oct 26, 2011)
Can Statins Cut the Benefits of Exercise?
An important new study suggests that statins, the cholesterol-lowering medications that are the most prescribed drugs in the world, may block some of the fitness benefits of exercise, one of the surest ways to improve health.
No one is saying that people with high cholesterol or a family history of heart disease should avoid statins, which studies show can be lifesaving. But the discovery could create something of dilemma for doctors and patients, since the people who should benefit the most from exercise — those who are sedentary, overweight, at risk of heart disease or middle-aged — are also the people most likely to be put on statins, possibly undoing some of the good of their workouts.
"the heart is the dumbest organ in the body" - a pulmonoligst
So, I must apologize that I’ve been blowin it lately. I’ve started shadowing a cardiologist two weeks ago and have been using my non-asleep time to bone-up (people say that?) on cardio knowledge (and call of duty, but that’s because I’ve got an image to uphold). Turns out, I really like this stuff.
Unlike a specialty like neurology, cardiologists can treat and manage a lot of disease with a relatively decent amount of efficacy (I really like that). Like I mentioned in a previous post, statins have been used for quite some time to lower LDL by inhibiting HMG CoA Reductase - an enzyme essential to cholesterol sythesis. Download the free Epocrates app and learn more about them, if you’d like. Statins were originally discovered in red yeast rice. You can purchase red yeast rice if you really want, but you can get a generic statin for fairly cheap if you have insurance (if you actually need to be on a statin, you’d better get yourself some insurance! If you’re reading this and you live in Albuquerque, hit me up, I can help you get it for cheap or free.). Two reasons not to bother with the red yeast rice supplement:
1) Because of the DSHEA, producers don’t have to test their product for any trace of the active material. So, one capsule may have a lot of beneficial chemicals and the next may have little to none. I unfortunately don’t have the citation, but I’ve read findings of other chemicals, prescription drugs, and insect parts in some of these capsules (I will look for this rigorously sometime in the afternoon, so stay tuned).
2) Since we have identified the active/medicinal ingredient to red yeast rice, we can isolate it and control the dosage. Some people only need to take 10mg/day while others may be on 30mg/day or more. You’d be hard pressed to find an herbalist that can beat that.
The last take home from the statin example is that we took an “alternative” method, found out that it worked, made it better, and have adopted it to “western” or “modern” methods. I’ll probably say this a million times, but that is the big difference between CAM and evidence-based-medicine. We follow the evidence and science (at least, usually we follow the science), not what our gut tells us should work. Intuition is a big idiot that sees patterns where they don’t exist and can cause us to make some horrible decisions.
That’s all for today. I’m hitting the road for two weeks with my family (biological, not hardcore) tomorrow, but I will do my best to keep it together. Instead of listing the two citations, I’ll leave it to you to click the links.
Statin Drugs. Are they just a massive con?
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are some of the most widely used in the world, with annual sales in the USA alone of $15.5bn – and they may also be some of the most ineffective.
A major new study of 4,574 patients with chronic heart disease has revealed that the drugs do nothing to extend life or prevent hospital care.
This new finding, made by researchers from the ANMCO Research Centre in Florence, adds weight to a similar conclusion made by Harvard researchers last year.
The Italian research team tracked the progress of the heart patients, who were given either the statin drug Crestor (rosuvastatin) or a placebo. More of the patients in the Crestor group died, and more needed hospital care, than those given a placebo. Overall, 1305 patients in the statin group died from their heart condition or were admitted to hospital, compared with 1283 from the placebo group.
These new findings reflect those made by the Harvard research team when they carried out a meta-analysis of eight trials and discovered that the drugs had no positive effect on the health of 10,990 women who were taking a statin, and only a very marginal benefit for men.
The Harvard team also noted that just 8 per cent of those taking a statin actually had a heart condition; in other words, it was a ‘just-in-case’ remedy.
Although it is ineffective, the statin isn’t without its own health concerns. The drug has been linked to Parkinson’s disease and, paradoxically, heart disease.
(Source: The Lancet, 2008; 372: 1231-9 (Italian study); The Lancet, 2007; 369: 268-9 (Harvard study)).
High-dose statins raise risk of diabetes
Taking a high-dose statin to lower cholesterol may increase risk of developing diabetes by as much as 12 percent, but the heart benefits of statins still outweigh the risks, new research suggests.
Statins such as Pfizer’s Lipitor are the world’s best-selling drugs. They work by lowering levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol.
Doctors say the new research made public on Tuesday should not prompt any patients to stop taking statins, but patients on high doses of statins should get screened regularly for diabetes.
Read the story here