Jumpin' Jupiter: How About a Little Statin Common Sense
Posted Dec 16 2009 9:31am
Well, by now I am certain most of you have heard that the FDA, based on the results of the JUPITER Study, has approved rosuvastatin (Crestor) for men over 50 and women over 60 with normal LDL-cholesterol levels (LDL <130>2.0 mg/dL), elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP >2.0mg/dL) and triglycerides under 500 mg/dL.
I have had a chance to review both the glowing recommendations and scathing condemnations of this FDA action and find them to be as frustrating as they are amusing. I THINK A LOT OF FOLKS NEED TO GET A GRIP! I advise EVERYONE to read Dr. Davis' well-reasoned, common-sense analysis of the JUPITER results on his latest HealthCentral blog post. He brilliantly dissects the issue for us and calmly separates the useful health info from the useless hysteria on both sides of the aisle.
Here is my take/synopsis and some important things to remember.
1. Always bear in mind the difference between cause and association. Nobody said CRP "causes" heart disease. In fact, it is more likely than CRP is simply an indicator that you have something else that does cause heart disease (i.e. CRP is just "associated" with heart disease). Find that root cause and treat it. A statin may not be the best treatment for the specific root cause of your elevated CRP (but maybe it is).
2. Virtually all drugs have good effects and unwanted side-effects. But, the effects are different for everyone. Statins reduce LDL cholesterol and CRP - no question. They are neither magic nor poison. My advice is to study, analyze, ask questions then make an informed decision. I take Crestor (5mg) - but as little as I think is prudent based on my unique circumstances!
3. It is worth mentioning that researchers found a signficant increase in diabetes among participants. Factor this into your personal equation.
In short, it is nuts to both crucify statins or propose they be put in the water supply. I mean, really, does it a take a rocket scientist to figure this much out?