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Statin Nation — How Millions Are Damaged in a Post-Health World

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • “A Statin Nation: Damaging Millions in a Brave New Post-Health World,” written by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, addresses the challenges with the conventional approach of using statins for the prevention of heart disease
  • The difference between relative and absolute risk is an important yet poorly understood concept that helps clarify the actual benefit of any given drug or treatment. Examples are included. These hazard ratios also need to be compared against the overall mortality rate to get a clearer view of a drug’s benefit
  • Repatha is a new lipid-lowering medication said to reduce the rate of heart disease death and myocardial infarction by 20%, yet the overall mortality rate in the Repatha group was higher than in the placebo group
  • Cholesterol is found in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones (including the sex hormones testosterone, progesterone and estrogen) and bile acids that help you digest fat
  • Cholesterol is important for the production of vitamin D, which is vital for optimal health. When sunlight strikes your bare skin, the cholesterol in your skin is converted into vitamin D. It also serves as insulation for your nerve cells, and is important for general brain health and cognition

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, a general practitioner in Cheshire, England, is the author of three books. I’ve previously interviewed him about “Doctoring Data: How to Sort Out Medical Advice From Medical Nonsense.” Here, we discuss his latest work, “A Statin Nation: Damaging Millions in a Brave New Post-Health World,” which addresses the challenges with this conventional approach to heart disease prevention.

This is his second book on the topic of cholesterol. In the first one, “The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It,” published a decade ago, he addressed the basis behind the cholesterol controversy. “A Statin Nation” is basically a follow-up to that book, as many things have changed over the past 10 years.

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