Frederick T Sherman, M.D. writes that stopping statins is bad for your health. As the poster child for his screed he uses former President Bill Clinton, who underwent coronary bypass surgery a few years back.
Says Dr. Sherman of President Clinton:
Toward the end of his tenure in the Oval Office, despite years of running 3 miles, 5 times a week around the Nation’s Capitol, President Clinton’s total cholesterol was 233 mg/dL and his LDL was 177 mg/dL. His HDL, while not public knowledge, may have been below 40 mg/dL. Shortly before leaving office in January 2001, he was started on simvastatin [a statin drug, trade named Zocor].
Unfortunately, for unknown reasons (but like many Baby Boomers), President Clinton stopped taking his statin, though when is not clear. He did, however, diet and lose weight, and looked considerably thinner when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004.
Then, in September 2004, he underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. For months prior to his quadruple bypass, President Clinton had been experiencing exercise- induced angina in combination with symptoms of gastric reflux. When he finally developed angina at rest, he went to the hospital. On admission, his LDL was 114.
Say what? So President Clinton’s LDL level was 177 mg/dL, then he (God forbid!) went off his statin. Then after being off the statin his LDL dropped to 114 mg/dL. And you’re blaming his heart troubles on the fact that he stopped taking a statin, which he was put on, I’m sure, because his LDL was too high?
Remember how back in the good old days these statin-loving porridge brains would always recommend diet (albeit the wrong diet) and exercise first, and then, if these strategies failed to bring down LDL levels it was time for the statins. Not any longer. Those days are past.
Clearly, long-term compliance with medications, specifically statins, is more important than diet and exercise alone. Drug therapy, rather than lifestyle modification, must become the mainstay of therapy for the primary and secondary prevention of CAD. [My italics] The future coronary health of the American public depends upon Baby Boomers and subsequent generations taking all of their cardioprotective medications for life.
According to Dr. Sherman, all of us who fall into the Baby Boomer category should belly up to the statin bar every day for the rest of our lives. I wonder if Dr. Sherman has ever really read the literature on statins. Does he know that statin drugs have never been shown to do much of anything (other then lightening one’s wallet) for men without heart disease and women with and without?
I don’t have time to do the search right now, but I welcome any comments from readers who do. I’ll bet a little digging will find ol’ Dr. Sherman firmly attached to the statin teat of some drug company.