A new study has appeared in the BMJ Open Journal, results of research conducted by a group of international scientists. The study found no link between LDL cholesterol (the so-called “bad” cholesterol) and death from heart disease in people 60 years and older. This study has direct implications regarding the efficacy of prescribing statin medications to protect against cardiovascular disease.
The abstract of the study concludes:
High LDL-C is inversely associated with mortality in most people over 60 years. This finding is inconsistent with the cholesterol hypothesis (ie, that cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, is inherently atherogenic). Since elderly people with high LDL-C live as long or longer than those with low LDL-C, our analysis provides reason to question the validity of the cholesterol hypothesis. Moreover, our study provides the rationale for a re-evaluation of guidelines recommending pharmacological reduction of LDL-C in the elderly as a component of cardiovascular disease prevention strategies.
Currently, statin drugs are widely prescribed. Lipitor is the most profitable pharmaceutical medication of all time, having sold $140 Billion in production thus far. Yet according to the study’s co-author, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, findings show that:
… older people with high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels, the so-called “bad” cholesterol, lived longer and had less heart disease.
The study’s authors say the guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention and the accumulation of plaque in arteries should be re-evaluated. They assert “the benefits from statin treatment have been exaggerated.”
Professor Sherif Sultan of the University of Ireland, a vascular and endovascular surgery expert, argues the emphasis in the medical community should be on lifestyle changes, rather than pharmaceuticals:
Lowering cholesterol with medications for primary cardiovascular prevention in those aged over 60 is a total waste of time and resources, whereas altering your lifestyle is the single most important way to achieve a good quality of life.
In 2013, an article in Natural News reported that physicians with ties to the pharmaceutical industry were behind the push to increase the prescribing of statin drugs. That was the year doctors affiliated with the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued guidelines suggesting one-third of all adults should consider taking statins. This push was highly lucrative for the pharmaceutical industry.
Now that science has proven statins are not the panacea doctors once believed they were, it is time to seek more natural approaches to preventing cardiovascular disease.