Statins: British Heart Foundation Should Stick To The Facts

| July 4, 2012

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the UK’s largest and best-known ‘heart’ charity, and is supposedly devoted to improving our cardiovascular health and helping us reduce our risk of heart attacks and strokes. On its website, the BHF includes case studies of people to, apparently, highlight pertinent issues and the importance of good medical care. Here’s an example.

The details are scant, but from what I can make out, it seems Jill is a 53-year-old long-term diabetic. Some time ago she was diagnosed with ‘high cholesterol’ and initially resisted the idea that she should take medication for this. But her doctor was ‘absolutely straight with [her]’, and she concluded that she had to take the statins no matter what her own feelings were on the subject.

Then she writes this: “It was a massive shock when I had my heart attack a few years later. That was a real wake-up call and I find it really hard to imagine that people wouldn’t take their cholesterol or blood pressure medicine if they knew what it was like to live with heart disease.”

While Jill’s experience is being used by the BHF to help persuade individuals to take their medication I’m not sure her experience is such a great advert for this approach. After all, despite taking her medication, she still went on to have a heart attack. It might just be me, but this is not exactly a ringing endorsement for the effectiveness and indispensable nature of statins.

But then we’re informed by Jill that: “My doctor told me if I hadn’t stuck to taking my medicines, my heart attack would have happened a lot sooner.” That might be comforting, but in reality there is simply no way any doctor could make such a claim, as he or she or anyone else has no way of knowing if it’s true or not.

Of course, some might feel that at least Jill is alive to tell her tale, and perhaps the statins she took had some value here. However, we know from recent research, discussed here, that statins do not reduce the risk of death in women, even those who are at high risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.

The BHF is an organisation that some would look to for balanced and impartial information and advice about the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. I believe case studies such as this do the general public a huge disservice. Scant on details and bereft of science, Jill’s story does not truly inform us at all, but does perhaps serve to scare people into taking their medication. I’d like to see the BHF stick to the scientific facts, and talk candidly about the effectiveness (actually, ineffectiveness) of statins. Of course if it did that, there would be little to shout about at all.

Here’s to a healthy heart

Dr John Briffa
Editor
for The Cholesterol Truth



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Category: Latest Cholesterol News, Statin Drugs Side Effects, The Great Cholesterol Con

Comments (2)

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  1. frnacz says:

    Yes they can’t tell the exact time it will happened. That’s why if they said statins can heal you, I will not believe them 100% knowing that staitins has too many side effects and those side effects might be harmful for us. We can do natural ways to help us live longer. Proper diet and exercise. We just have to do it in the right way. Here’s another informative article about statins – http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/20/the-truth-about

  2. bfbf says:

    “……………………………………………………………………………………..“In the beginning my husband Mike helped me organise my pills and get into a routine, but now it’s just part of my day – wake up, coffee, cereal, pills. It’s easy for me now,”……………………………………………………………………………………..”CEREAL shock, let me guess..with (healthy) skimmed and denatured (pasteurised) A1 cows (Friesian) “milk”No doubt lunch is a wholemeal jam sandwich using (healthy) margarine washed down with sweetened coffee and biscuits.Diner probably pasta with quorn and a chock y bar treat.”………………………………………………………………………………………”but if you’re struggling it’s important to get informed and get support early on. There are loads of people who can help – the British Heart Foundation helpline, your pharmacist, your GP or the nurse at your local practice are all great places to start.”…………………………………………………………………………………”British Heart Foundation helpline (check) = drugs advice line?pharmacist (check) = more drugsGP or the nurse at your local practice (check) = next stop pharmacist to collect DRUGSWould not do to treat the CAUSE of your “high” cholesterol would it (i.e the high carb diet you throw down your neck) when you can be profitably “treating” the symptoms from now till your next fatal heart attack etc etc.

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