Taking statins has risks too
IT SEEMS that if the medical profession could have its way, all persons in the over-50s category should now be taking statins.
A study published in the latest edition of The Lancet asserts that the use of these drugs, which reduce cholesterol in the blood, would cut by 15 per cent the chance of someone in the low risk category suffering a fatal heart attack or stroke.
Patient safety is not the only concern here, since it is also claimed that because fewer people would be dying, considerable savings would be accrued by the NHS, from reductions in the cost of screening and healthcare.
There's a call to patriotism here as well, then.
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The drug is not only good for you, but is also good for the country's economy.
The downside to all of this, to which The Lancet makes no reference, is that in telling us that the benefits of statin use would greatly exceed the known hazards of statin therapy, it does not mention potential side-effects revealed by other accredited studies.
These include muscle wastage, memory loss, diabetes, stomach upsets and liver damage.
Would the millions of otherwise healthy over-50s in this country then care to run that risk ?
ROY HEYWOOD Milton