Originally posted October 13, 2010.
Last time out, I wrote on the subject of number needed to treat (NNT). You can follow up on this topic by consulting the BusinessWeek issue published January 28, 2008. In line with my ongoing effort to dig deep into the subject of statin drugs, I’ve selected a couple of additional concepts from the same article to discuss today.
What do you know about the molecule Rho-kinase? If you’re like most folk, the answer is “not much.” The facts I’ve uncovered in my research on this very special molecule are concerning. Dr. James K. Liao, a vascular medicine expert at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, believes that healthy people have normal Rho-kinase levels and little inflammation. However smokers and people with high blood pressure have elevated Rho-kinase levels. Dr. Liao suggests that statins reduce Rho-kinase levels, thus reducing damaging inflammation in arteries. This, he says, is why statin drugs do indeed work for people with existing heart disease. According to Dr. Liao, lowering elevated cholesterol is simply not the reason why statins can be beneficial.
So is high cholesterol perhaps not such a big deal? Is inflammation a subject you need to dig into? What about Rho-kinase—is this a molecule you want to know more about? And after reading the initial installments of my statin drug study project, have you learned about vital subject matter for your family? I certainly hope your answer to all these questions is yes, and I hope you will return regularly in coming months as I continue my research for those considering the advisability of statin drugs. Independent, rigorous research often leads to answers that promote a more healthy and satisfying lifestyle for you and your family.