A new study shows the side-effects of statins has been wildly exaggerated and they are an effective and safe way to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.
Statins, taken by people with risk of heart disease and high cholesterol, have long been thought to have side-effects that have questioned whether or not their benefits outweigh the negative reasons for taking them. This has caused a major discouragement in patients taking the drug.
But a new review published in The Lancet by researchers at Oxford University has revealed that the benefits that stains provide actually far outweigh any side-effects prompting healthcare organizations and patients to rethink their use.
Statin use is high throughout the world becoming a clear benefit in reducing dangerously high levels of cholesterol, but it was soon found to have detrimental effects on health including muscle pain and weakness, stroke and even diabetes. As a result many patients and even healthcare specialists were reluctant to use the drug for fear of further health problems.
But the new research shows this has been greatly exaggerated and the benefits of taking statins far outweighs any side-effects. In many cases, massive side-effects are minimal and even quite rare: out of 10,000 patients, taking regular doses of statins only 5 people would suffer from myopathy, 10 with strokes and around 100 people would suffer from some kind of adverse muscle pain.
“Our review shows that the numbers of people who avoid heart attacks and strokes by taking statin therapy are very much larger than the numbers who have side effects with it,” stated lead author of the review, Prof Rory Collins from the Clinical Trial Service Unit at the University of Oxford. “In addition, whereas most of the side effects can be reversed with no residual effects by stopping the statin, the effects of a heart attack or stroke not being prevented are irreversible and can be devastating. Consequently, there is a serious cost to public health from making misleading claims about high side effect rates that inappropriately dissuade people from taking statin therapy despite the proven benefits.”