A new study has just determined that the benefits of taking statin medication outweigh the risks in people without heart disease. What may serve as great news for producers of the drug may not be as exciting for you.
Statin medications are a common treatment for high cholesterol and high blood pressure. They work to thin blood, so it passes more easily through potentially obstructed blood vessels.
They are generally reserved for people who are diagnosed with heart disease or high cholesterol.
So, if you don’t have high cholesterol, why on earth would you want to take them? Particularly if they can have effects like muscle pain, liver, kidney problems, and more.
There are a lot of other less invasive ways to prevent heart disease and heart-related death. The danger of promoting medication as a preventative technique is that it can diminish a person’s motivation to make healthy and positive lifestyle changes.
Changes that don’t come with potentially risky side effects.
The recent study analyzed data from 62 trials to learn if the benefits of taking statins outweighed the risks in people without heart disease. It featured more than 120,000 people with an average age of 61 who were followed for about four years.
They found that using statins was linked with slightly higher risks of self-reported side effects like those mentioned above. They found that, per 10,000 people, the risks translated to 15 cases of muscle symptoms, 12 kidney events, and 14 additional eye conditions.
On the other hand, they found that statin use reduced the risk of major heart events. The estimated statins prevented 19 heart attacks, nine strokes, and eight deaths from heart disease per every 10,000 people.
So these drugs may reduce the risk of heart-related death in people without heart disease. But is it really the best method? With an abundance of non-invasive and safe options to reduce the risk of heart disease – that offer peripheral benefits – statins probably aren’t the best choice.