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Higher Doses of Statins Just As Deadly

The production of statins by U.S. pharmaceutical companies is a $15 billion industry all by itself. That's absolute insanity to me because NOBODY needs to take these drugs when an optimized diet that eliminates grains and sugars will normalize one's cholesterol virtually all of the time.

Which is why I wasn't surprised to read a study that found higher doses of one statin aren't much better than lower doses at preventing recurrent heart problems and death. In addition, high doses of Zocor (Merck) increase a patient's risk of developing myopathy, a neurological disease that causes muscle weakness.

In this study, called the A to Z trial, 2,265 patients suffering from acute heart problems were given 40 milligrams of Zocor daily for one month. After that, their dose of Zocor was increased to 80 milligrams per day. The researchers compared these patients with 2,232 similar patients who were given a dummy drug for four months, followed by daily doses of 20 milligrams of Zocor.

After eight months, cholesterol among patients taking 20 milligrams of Zocor dropped to an average of 77 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), compared with 63 mg/dL among patients taking 80 milligrams of Zocor, the researchers report.

In addition, among patients receiving low doses of Zocor, 343 had a heart attack, died from another heart problem, or were hospitalized for a heart problem, compared with 309 of the patients on high doses of Zocor.

Forbes September 15, 2004

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