Originally posted October 20, 2010.
In the informative BusinessWeek article “Do Cholesterol Drugs Do Any Good?,” from January 28, 2008, a sidebar heading reads: “In the real world, a slew of side effects from statins.” In recent weeks, I have shared with you a number of items in this article that have caught my eye. I urge each of you to spend some time reading the article. I know you will benefit as much as I have.
My primary goal with my Lifesaver series has been to promote and encourage independent study. Rigorous analysis of any topic can offer an advanced slant on subjects that many among us may have previously considered beyond the pale. The subject of statins is worthy of considerable debate and reflection.
The BusinessWeek article highlights the statins experience of Dr. H. Denman Scott. Dr. Scott was put on Lipitor by his doctor because his LDL cholesterol, at 130, was considered borderline high. The onset of muscle pain soon led to paralyzing soreness. Dr. Scott had observed similar reactions in patients he had treated over the years. He stopped taking Lipitor, and, two months later, his aches and soarness were gone.
The same sidebar describes the statins experience of former astronaut and retired family doctor Duane Graveline. Dr. Graveline recounts how both times when he was prescribed Lipitor he descended into the black pit of amnesia. He has since written a book on the subject and set up a website on the side effects of statins.
The sidebar also mentions one trial that showed an association between statins and cancer. Little wonder Dr. Beatrice Golomb of the University of California states that the safety of statins in long-term use is an incredibly important question on which we have very little data.
Regardless of your previous view on statins, I hope that the initial chapters of my research project on the subject convince you that the case is far from black and white. In fact, debate rages, with strong views on all sides. Reread each of the chapters in my series, and I think the statin drug picture will come into clearer focus for you. One observation I have made in my study of statins over the years is that there is every bit as much misinformation available on this topic as exists in the investing arena. I hope you will return to Richardcyoung.com next week for more on the ins and outs of statin drugs.