News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinecabal-elitecorporatepharmaceutical — Viewing Item

Pharmaceutical cholesterol drugs not lowering risk

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Cholesterol Levels Are Falling, But Red Flags Are Rising
By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Cholesterol levels are dropping in older Americans, most likely the result of increased use of lipid-lowering drugs called statins.

But experts warn that these drugs are no replacement for lifestyle changes to reduce cardiovascular risk, especially given that triglyceride levels -- fats in the blood -- went up during the same time period.

"Statins are sometimes perceived by their recipients as a credit card to eat indiscriminately," said Dr. Howard Weintraub, co-clinical director of the Lipid Treatment & Research Center at New York University Medical Center. "Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is not the only risk factor for heart disease. We all know that triglycerides increase atherosclerotic risk. This is not good news. This is a Trojan horse."

Weintraub was not involved with the study, which appears in the Oct. 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

High total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol levels are established risk factors for atherosclerosis ('hardening of the arteries') and other cardiovascular problems.

Clinical trials have suggested that a 1 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol reduces the relative risk for coronary heart disease by an equivalent 1 percent.

Previous data had shown declines in total cholesterol levels in U.S. adults between 1960-62 and 1988-94 and in LDL cholesterol levels between 1976-80 and 1988-94.

This study brings trend information up to date by examining data from five separate national surveys of the U.S. population during 1960-62, 1971-74, 1976-80, 1988-94 and 1999-2002.

The total cholesterol levels of adults 20 years or older decreased from 206 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter of blood) in 1988-94 to 203 mg/dL in 1999-2002, while the average LDL cholesterol level decreased from 129 mg/dL to 123 mg/dL during the same time period.

According to the American Heart Association, total cholesterol levels should be less than 200 mg/dL. Those with cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL and over are considered high risk. Optimally, LDL levels should be less than 100 mg/dL.

The percentage of adults with total cholesterol levels of at least 240 mg/dL decreased from 20 percent in 1988-94 to 17 percent in 1999-2002, achieving one of the Healthy People 2010 objectives set by the U.S. government.

The declines in total and LDL levels were primarily confined to men 60 years or older and to women 50 years or older, not younger adults. This coincides with increased use of statins in this segment of the population. Between 1995-96 and 2001-02, there was an increase in the number of physician office visits and hospital visits of men and women over 45 in which statins were prescribed, the study found.

Average high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good") cholesterol levels did not change while triglyceride levels in adults 20 years and older increased from 118 mg/dL in 1988-94 to 123 mg/dL in 1999-2002. This last number was not statistically significant although it may be significant nonetheless, health experts said.

"Triglycerides are reflective of metabolic problems that are up in everybody," Weintraub said.

And all of this is occurring in a climate when obesity and overweight are expanding exponentially. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1988-94 and 1999-2002 the proportion of overweight and obese adults in America increased from 55.9 percent to 65.1 percent. The prevalence of obesity alone increased from 22.9 to 30.4 percent, trends which likely contributed to triglyceride increases.

"People are going to read this and say, 'We're not in trouble,' and yet obesity is increasing significantly," Weintraub said. Obesity contributes to diabetes, which, in turn, contributes heavily to the burden of heart disease in this country.

"I'm happy to see that cholesterol is coming down," Weintraub added. "Statin medicines work very well and lower cholesterol levels and may minimize some of the impact of poor diet. But as people have lowered their fat intake, they've gotten heavier, which means they're eating carbohydrates and their triglycerides are going up."

40 percent of americans take prescription drugs
ADD drugs give hallucinations of bugs and snakes { March 22 2006 }
American painkiller use skyrocketing
Anti depresents linked to suicide
Antibiotic causes liver damage
Antidepressant use by adults surges { December 3 2004 }
Antidepressants addictive to some people { August 6 2006 }
Antidepressants remove obsessive focus of love
Antidepressiants increases chance of suicide { December 13 2006 }
Arthritis drugs causing cancer in childen { April 29 2008 }
Bayer sent riskier drug asia latinamerica { May 22 2003 }
Birth defects from paxil in pregnant women { December 8 2005 }
Canada makes drug deals with 2 states against fda wishes { October 5 2004 }
Cholesterol drug causes kidney damage contradicting fda { May 24 2005 }
Cholesterol meds lower test results not improving health { January 15 2008 }
Clinical trials biased by profit funding
Company hid heartattack data for painkiller { December 8 2005 }
Congressman moves retired to drug lobby
Dc council legislation blocks pharmaceutical price gounging { September 21 2005 }
Doctor gives anti depressants to 4 yr old girl
Doctors get kickbacks to promote drugs
Doctors prescribe paxil whenever asked { April 27 2005 }
Drug aleve increases stroke heart attack risk { December 21 2004 }
Drug bill well financed victory
Drug company criminal charges { May 31 2003 }
Drug firms hide studies showing suicidal behavior { September 10 2004 }
Drug firms hype up diseases to boost sales
Drug leader at NIH takes pharmaceutical money { December 22 2004 }
Fda accused too cozy with pharmaceuticals { November 18 2004 }
Fda approval surprises many doctors
Fda prevented drug expert from speaking on anti depressants { April 16 2004 }
Fda wants suicide warning on anti depressants { March 23 2004 }
Fda whistle blower seeks legal help { November 24 2004 }
Fraud studies made by drug company { March 2008 }
Man arrested if not medicating child with drugs { June 7 2004 }
Mccain knocks steroids baseball
Minnesota school shooter using prozac and others { March 26 2005 }
More anti depressant drug warnings by fda
New diabetes pill poses deadly risk
New york state sues paxil company over coverup { June 3 2004 }
Newer antipsychotic drugs more costly less effective { September 20 2005 }
Parents reverse child hyper activity without drugs { December 22 2006 }
Paxil link found with birth defects
Pharmaceutical cholesterol drugs not lowering risk
Pharmaceutical companies court doctors for sells { April 11 2008 }
Pharmaceutical companies using tax exempt charities { June 28 2006 }
Pharmaceutical secrecy on antidepressant data { January 29 2004 }
Pharmaceuticals in tap water through sewage { March 10 2008 }
Pharmaceuticals pay fda more for speedy approvals { November 22 2006 }
Return of vioxx unusual not unprecendented
Rise of european behavior controlling drug
Ritalin could be dangerous to heart { February 10 2006 }
Senators told fda too cozy with drug industry { November 18 2004 }
Sharp rise in ritalin { July 19 2003 }
Sleeping pill causes sleep driving { March 15 2007 }
Sleeping pills once a day increase death rate { March 23 2006 }
Statin drug takers suffer heart attacks anyway
Study criticizes painkiller marketing { January 25 2005 }
Study drugs for students growing { June 11 2006 }
Study shows no good effect from anti depressants { February 25 2008 }
Suicide risk increase with antidepressants { February 18 2005 }
Supreme court allows pharmaceutical to bulldoze homes { June 23 2005 }
Teens increasing pharmaceutical drug abuse { April 21 2005 }
Teens use pharmaceutical drugs to get high { December 21 2006 }
Unapproved drug tested on children in nigeria { May 7 2006 }
Unfavorable drug studies never reported
Viox risk seen with short term use { May 17 2006 }
Women participating in lilly drug trial hangs self { February 9 2004 }

Files Listed: 68


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple