Robert J. DuBroff, M.D., with the Cardiology Division of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine deserves some credit. He recently published a great article in the journal Evidence Based Medicine about cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
Right off the bat, DuBroff makes it clear drug researchers manipulated meta-analyses to overstate the supposed benefits of statins. Plus, they underestimated the dangers of developing Type II diabetes while on the drugs.
As DuBroff points out, the meta-analyses big pharma regularly cites to support statin drugs incorporated clinical trials that weren’t at all designed to assess the effects of statins in Type II diabetes.
A meta-analysis combines several separate clinical trial into one big super-study. As I’ve said before, these meta-analyses are only as good as the studies they include. And researchers can show strong bias by simply choosing to omit one or two studies from their analysis.
In this case, the bias toward statin use is clear.
The statin meta-analyses didn’t include multiple clinical trials that were designed to study the effects of statins in Type II diabetes. These trials demonstrated that statin drugs have inconsistent clinical benefit. In other words, the drugs’ ability to lower heart disease was inconsistent. And–here’s the bigger picture–these “forgotten” trials show statin drugs don’t reduce death rates from heart disease by one iota.
It’s no surprise that statins cause Type II diabetes, the leading cause of heart disease. The FDA now even requires statin manufacturers disclose the risk of developing Type II diabetes while taking a statin drug.
The only surprise is how long it has taken the mainstream, evidence-based medical literature to finally bring the problem to the forefront.
DuBroff says it is a conundrum.
And here’s where we part ways. What conundrum, Dr. DuBroff?
Don’t take statin drugs. And if you’re a doctor, certainly don’t prescribe them. They don’t really work. They are dangerous. And they do cause Type II diabetes.
What’s so complicated?
I do applaud DuBroff for pointing out another obvious fact: Mortality is more important than other clinical “endpoints” in any clinical trial.
You see, over the past 20 years, statisticians found ways to play games with “combined clinical endpoints” when they can’t show the drugs reduce actual death rates from disease.
For example, since they can’t say statins reduced death rates, they say: Well, statins didn’t reduce death rates in our study, but they did reduce chest pain and doctor visits by 75 percent. So somehow–they must work!
There are a number of problems with this shifty practice.
First of all, not all statin trials use the same grab-bag of random clinical endpoints. Some use chest pain as the end point. Some use doctor visits. Some use something entirely different. So when these meta-analyses lump all the trials together, they’re comparing apples to oranges–a big “no-no” for valid statistics.
Second, these clinical points aren’t really “endpoints” at all compared to the ultimate endpoint of mortality.
I often point out that statisticians can’t fudge mortality data. They just can’t cheat the Grim Reaper.
But with a meta-analysis and computers, statisticians can keep making adjustments until they get the results they want.
The Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ (CTT) Study points out this fact.
This huge meta-analysis included 27 studies and showed a “significant” benefit of taking statin drugs when they used various clinical endpoints (such as a reduction in doctor visits or chest pain).
But when another group of researchers examined the same data from the same 27 trials, they used mortality rates as the endpoint. No big surprise here. Any and all supposed benefits of statins disappeared like magic. Statins did not lower mortality rates one bit.
Some refer to meta-analyses as “the alchemy of the 21st century.” And they’re right on target.
Of course, in the Middle Ages, alchemists tried to change base metals into gold. But they never succeeded. In the 21st century, big pharma accomplishes the impossible–they can turn useless, toxic drugs into gold–for themselves.
Fortunately, the medical journal Evidence Based Medicine, where DuBroff published his article, still presents real evidence. They seek out the facts amid the noise spewed by big pharma and its subsidized medical literature. Of course, nowadays, you need a “dragnet,” to finally get “just the facts, ma’am.”
Shockingly, cardiology professional guidelines still recommend doctors treat adult Type II diabetics with statins, regardless of how long the patients have the disease. This blanket recommendation fails to consider the inevitable presence of Father Time (marching along together with the Grim Reaper). Since many patients battle Type II diabetes their entire adult lives, this recommendation sentences them to life-long statin therapy.
We must consider the consequences of such long-term exposure. We should also keep in mind it takes almost 10 years or more for someone diagnosed with Type II diabetes to begin to show (or not show) heart (or other) complications. But many statin studies generally last less than five years. That means the studies aren’t long enough to find the deadly complications of this drug.
But I do know of at least one long-term study on statins. They found a 363 percent increased risk of developing Type II diabetes after 15 to 20 years of exposure to statins. That percentage is triple or quadruple the risk the average person has of developing Type II diabetes if they are not taking these drugs. Plus, even a shorter, six-year study found a 46 percent greater risk of developing Type II diabetes for someone who takes statin drugs.
By failing to consider the simple impact of time, many statin studies underestimate the risk of developing diabetes. In the real world, “time may change you, but you can’t change time.”
DuBroff states it’s high time the mainstream get over their “statin-centric” approach to preventing heart disease. Statins do not actually prevent deaths from heart disease. But they do cause Type II diabetes, which in turn, leads to heart disease. It could not be more insane!
I recommend focusing on a healthy diet instead of entrusting your life to these toxic chemicals. You can read more about how to avoid statins in my report The Insider’s Guide to a Heart-Healthy and Statin-Free Life.
In the meantime, research shows the Mediterranean diet–which includes olive oil, fish, nuts, and moderate wine consumption–effectively reduces heart disease mortality without using statistical voodoo magic to obscure the truth. Plus, instead of increasing the risk of Type II diabetes, these dietary approaches will benefit your blood sugar. They’ll benefit your metabolism. And help you prevent Type II diabetes and heart disease.
P.S. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the one safe and effective drug you should talk to your doctor about taking if you do have Type II diabetes.
- Evidence Based Med. 2015; 20(4): 1210-123
- “The Statin Diabetes Conundrum: Short-term Gain, Long-term Risk or Inconvenient Truth?” Medscape (www.medscape.com)
- “Cholesterol confusion and statin controversy,” World J Cardiol. 2015 Jul 26; 7(7): 404–409