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Extended Interview with Paul Ridker

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Extended Interview with Paul Ridker, MD, Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. He led the JUPITER trial of Crestor against CRP.
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Dr. Ridker is glib, articulate and breezy as he touts the JUPITER results. It's what he doesn't say that's remarkable. Here's a quote from the blog of Dr. Michael Eades:
"If you believe the data from this study (we’ll get to that later), it indicates that men over 50 and women over 60 with normal LDL-cholesterol levels AND elevated C-reactive protein levels who took the very expensive ($3.50 per day) statin drug rosuvastatin (Crestor) minimally reduced their risk of developing heart disease or dying of any cause as compared to those who took placebo.

That’s it, folks. And that’s only if you believe the data.

The study says nothing about men under 50 or women under 60. The study says nothing about other types of statin drugs reducing risk. And the study applies ONLY to those men over 50 and women over 60 who have fairly markedly elevated C-reactive protein levels. The study says nothing about anyone of any sex or any age who doesn’t have a markedly elevated C-reactive protein level.

So, what’s the big deal? Well, the big deal is that there is finally a study that shows some benefit to statin drugs in terms of decreasing all-cause mortality. And, as I’ve posted before, those studies are few and far between."

Dr. Eades also points out that the bogus intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis is used, wherein study dropouts are presumed to have completed the study. He also notes that the combination of normal LDL and elevated hsCRP is such an unusual combination that some 1300 sites had to be used to obtain the 18,000 who started the study. And there are other flaws.

In short, this study, which was funded by the marketers of Crestor, uses questionable methodology to arrive at its dubious conclusions. But tens of thousands of doctors will only note the results announced in a reputable journal and begin prescribing Crestor to hundreds of thousands of patients who don't need it and may not only not benefit from it, but may suffer from the well-documented statin side effects. Caveat emptor.

My CRP has been consistently elevated.
It is now 11. My MD wanted to put me on Crestor. I have bad reactions to other statins so I told her I would only take 2.5 mg every other day along with 3 grams of fish oil Lovaza. My cholesterol numbers aren't too bad except my LDL is 102. The ratios are good however. Have you heard much about using statins in much lower doses than the drug companies recommend?

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