Your doctor checks your cholesterol and it comes back high. You try walking around the block for 2 days and cutting back from 7 days to 6 eating McDonalds. Alas…it does not work. You can almost feel your arteries harden. Medication is the ONLY answer to your plight. Cholesterol drugs protect the arteries, right?
The clear answer to this question is….Maybe.
Regular readers of the Rantings know how little of a fan I am of the entire statin class of drugs. Clearly, this class of drugs, for primary prevention of deaths related to heart attacks, is just a hair above worthless. If they didn’t have a long list of potentially fatal side effects and cost the healthcare system 10’s of billions of dollars per year AND they’re weren’t more effective alternatives available (Dr. Dean Ornish proved that lifestyle could reverse plaquing in the coronary arteries in the 70’s), then their paltry effectiveness wouldn’t be a big deal.
Back to the issue at hand. Will this class of drugs protect my arteries?
I guess it just depends. On what, you ask? It’s not really a question anyone can answer right now. What we can say, from this particular study, is that half show some very mild improvement in blood vessel diameter (3.2%) while the other half show larger losses (-5.3%) in the diameter of the blood vessels.
So it’s basically a crap shoot until researchers can spends hundreds of millions of research dollars to figure out who gets better and who gets worse, keeping in mind that “better” translates into a negligible improvement in overall mortality rates. Sheeeeezzz…
Called me biased, but wouldn’t the right lifestyle changes to pull back from diabetes and improve your entire lipid blood panel be a safer, cheaper and better idea??