I have been reading a great little book, In Search of Burningbush, about the adventures of a couple of golf buddies in Scotland. I came across the following paragraph:
We stopped in Longniddry, at the local “chipper” (fish and chips and every other manner of deep-fried animal parts)/pizzeria/video store, for the first of what I expected would be many servings of grease-soaked, artery clogging Scottish cuisine. I read somewhere that Scotland has the highest incidence of heart disease in the world [the highest in Western Europe] – and I’d be willing to wager it’s not because of stress or lack of exercise. They love to smoke and they love to eat unhealthy things, as though two decades of alarming news-magazine cover stories somehow slipped their collective attention.
Remember in my recent post on statins I noted that most people who have heart attacks smoke or were smokers. It’s strange how people never seem to correlate smoking to heart disease. In the above quote, the author recognizes that smoking is a cause, but what launches him off is the ‘greasy’ food.
When most people (not readers of this blog, thank God) see someone eating eggs and bacon or a big juicy steak they comment on the notion that those things cause heart disease. They call them things like ‘heart attack on a plate.’ When these same people see someone light up, do they think heart disease? I doubt it.
It’s amazing because there is no evidence that the eggs, bacon or steak cause heart disease, but there is a mountain of evidence that smoking does. Yet no one talks about artery-clogging cigarettes.
If there were as much money spent on educating people to the negative health effects of smoking as there is on the promotion of statins, which are little better than worthless, we would probably see heart disease rates tumble.
With all the folderol you hear from the statin worshipers about how deaths from heart disease have fallen over the past decade (with the implication that statins are the cause for this decline), just remember that the rates of smoking in the US have fallen markedly over the past 25 years. And even though smoking, a known and serious cause of heart disease, has fallen, the incidence of heart disease is about the same.
The statin worshipers never talk about that.