Growing Doubt on Statin Drugs: The Problem of Drug-Lifestyle Interaction

When statins are used in low-risk patients without heart disease for prevention there is no mortality benefit. That’s right. Your chances of dying are the same on or off the drug, regardless of how much the statin lowers the cholesterol level.When statins are used for primary prevention, there is a small lowering of future vascular events stroke/heart attack over five to 10 years. The absolute risk reduction is in the range of seven per 1000. That means you have to treat 140 patients with a statin for five years to prevent one event. Or this: for 99.3% of statin-treated patients, there is no benefit. I like to call this the PSR, or percent same result.

via Growing Doubt on Statin Drugs: The Problem of Drug-Lifestyle Interaction.


  1. Have used statins over 30 years but do need them to keep the C lower and do have history CAD. I do have a question about niacin 1000 mg slow release. Cardiologist has this in treatment plan too. My insurance pays for them in full but its $640 for 90 day supply and that takes up one third of my med limit for year without having to go to next level with co-pays introduced. I’m doing radiation and Lupron now for prostate cancer and as I age imagine drugs needed will increase and wonder if I can replace niacin(niaspan) with over the counter. 300 – 1000 mg just $15. The pharmacist says I would have to take 3 a day to equal slow release drug. I’d rather pay $150 a year out of pocket than use up one third of my paid drug limit. What do you think?


  2. I think a lot of the nutraceuticals are way over-priced and considerable nutritional evidence suggest that vitamins and micro-nutrient supplements are not necessarily equivalent to eating foods containing these vital nutrients. I would encourage you to not fear the fat. Healthy animal fat and cold water fish, plus many vegatables and legumes, nuts and seeds have high levels of Niacin and other B3 compounds. Here is link showing many foods highest in niacin/B3 :

    So yes, I think with a B3 rich diet and maybe some OTC supplements could meet or exceed the benefit of Niaspan. Follow your HDL carefully if you decide to make this transition.

    If you are not familiar with Chris Kresser’s work in Lipids, Cholesterol and heart disease, I think it would be well worth your while to read or subscribe to his research. Here is a link:


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