Saturday, December 6, 2008

Should medical science ignore the past?

In a letter in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) independent researcher Uffe Ravnskov states the following:

  • No association between cholesterol and degree of atherosclerosis has been found in postmortem studies of unselected individuals
  • High cholesterol is not a risk factor for women, patients with renal failure, diabetic patients, or old people
  • Old people with high cholesterol live longer than those with low cholesterol
  • In cohorts of people with familial hypercholesterolaemia, cholesterol is not associated with the incidence or prevalence of cardiovascular disease, and their average life span is similar to other people’s
  • No randomised, controlled, unifactorial, dietary, cholesterol lowering trial has ever succeeded in lowering coronary or total mortality
  • No clinical or angiographic trial has found exposure-response between individual degree of cholesterol lowering and outcome
  • More than 20 cohort studies found that patients with coronary heart disease ate the same amount of saturated fat as did healthy controls
  • Seven of 10 cohort studies found that patients with stroke ate less saturated fat than did healthy controls
  • The concentration of short chain fatty acids in adipose tissue, the most reliable reflection of saturated fat intake, is similar or lower in patients with coronary heart disease compared with healthy individuals in five case-control studies
  • The effect of statin treatment is grossly overstated and is not due to cholesterol lowering
  • Only a small percentage gain benefit—and then only if they are men at high risk—and the benefit is easily outweighed by side effects that are more common and more serious than reported in the statin trials, if reported at all.

Read his full letter here.

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