Bioidentical Hormones 101 
The Book, by Jeffrey Dach MD

Chapter 38. Getting Off Statin Drug Stories

Chapter 38. Getting Off Statin Drug Stories

Statin drugs such as Lipitor™ and Crestor™ are used to lower cholesterol levels.  These are a few case stories of patients on these types of drugs.

Case Number One, Martha

Fifty Five year old Martha is, healthy, and never had heart disease.  Nonetheless, for the past five years, Martha has been taking a statin drug for "high cholesterol" under the care of "the top cardiologist" in South Florida.  Martha has also been under my care, taking a bioidentical hormone program for menopausal symptoms, and doing very well.  Every six months, we run a lab panel which always shows  low cholesterol of 170, courtesy of her statin anti-cholesterol drug.  The drugs lower cholesterol levels, of that there is no doubt.

Just Ask Judith Walsh MD in JAMA

And, every time Martha comes into the office to review her lab results, I print out a 2004 JAMA article by Judith Walsh, MD who reviewed thirteen statin drug clinical trials from 1966 to 2003.(1)  Dr. Judith Walsh concludes in her JAMA article that cholesterol lowering drugs provide no health benefit for women.  I give Martha a copy of the JAMA article and, at the same time, explain to her that no woman should be on a statin drug.  Lowering cholesterol with a statin drug has no health benefit for women, that's a fact, and public information readily available.

Important Point

Statin Cholesterol lowering drugs provide no health benefit for women, according to a review of statin drug studies by Judith Walsh MD published in JAMA.

Playing Games With Statin Drugs

Every six months I recommend to Martha stopping the statin drug, and every six month, her cardiologist puts her back on the statin drug.  This has been going on for three years now.

Finally Success At Convincing Martha to Stop the Statin Drug

Finally this last time, Martha seems more receptive to idea that the statin drug is harming her and not helping her.  She is sitting in my office recounting multiple health problems for which she sees numerous doctors: back pain, asthma, sinus infections, skin problems, and allergies.  I suggested to Martha the possibility that many of her health problems are caused by the low cholesterol from the statin drug.  Martha finally sees the light, goes home and tosses the bottle of pills into the garbage can. 

Feeling Better

About a week later, Martha called me and reported, "I feel so much better off that statin drug, thank you so much! ".  Apparently, the stopping the statin drug produced an immediate improvement.

Believing in the Propaganda

This case illustrates the difficulty in convincing patients to stop their statin drug.  It is difficult to counter the drug company propaganda, and convince these patients they are harming their health with the statin drugs. Many continue to believe in the myth that cholesterol causes heart disease, and they go on to become statin drug medical victims.  I see them every day.  When we have a success like Martha, who finally gets off  her statin drug, this is a cause for celebration.
Case Number Two - Roger

Roger is a seventy one year old retired executive, and an avid tennis player.  He has no history of coronary artery disease and has always been healthy. Two years ago, his cardiologist said his cholesterol of 210 was "too high", and prescribed a statin anti-cholesterol drug.  A year later, Roger's tennis game deteriorated, he found his timing and balance was off, and he lost every game to players who could never beat him before.

Adverse Effects of the Statin Drug

I suggested to Roger that the decline in his tennis game was most likely an adverse effect of the statin drug on his muscle and nerve function causing loss of balance and coordination.  I recommended stopping the statin anti-cholesterol drug.  At first, Roger resisted and said his wife wanted him to take the statin drug because she thought it was "good medical care", and she (mistakenly) believed that lower cholesterol was somehow preventive of heart disease.

How to Counter the Propaganda: A Book For You

In order to counter the drug company cholesterol propaganda, I gave Roger a copy of the book, “Fat and Cholesterol are Good for YouFat and Cholesterol Are Good For You ”, by Uffe Ravnskov MD PhD.(2)  This book reviews the medical studies which supposedly show that cholesterol is the cause of heart disease, and reveals that these studies do no such thing. This is a medical myth.  Neither cholesterol consumption nor cholesterol blood levels cause heart disease.  Similarly, many medical studies demonstrate that anti-cholesterol drugs work very well to reduce cholesterol levels, however, this treatment does not prolong life and makes most people sick with adverse side effects. 

Statin Drugs For the Elderly?

Another important point made to Roger while sitting in my office is that a number of studies in the elderly (over the age of 70) revealed low cholesterol levels are not associated with health, and are a “robust predictor” of increased mortality, while higher cholesterol levels are associated with improved survival.(6-9)   This “reverse epidemiology” or “lipid paradox “ for the elderly is also true for other subgroups such as patients with chronic kidney failure on dialysis, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive lung disease, and cancer survivors,  in which lowering cholesterol is associated with increased mortality, and higher cholesterol improves survival.(10)

Seeing the Light

Roger was amazed and his eyes practically popped out of his head when he "saw the light".  The statin drugs were turning him another medical victim.  Once Roger learned the truth about the "cholesterol causes heart disease" myth, he took his statin drug bottle and threw it into the garbage can.  Two weeks later, off the statin drug,  Roger was back to his old self, prancing about the tennis court like a gazelle, and winning every game with ease.

Are You Still a Believer in Anti-Cholesterol Drugs?

If you are still a believer in Statin Drugs, take a look at this primary prevention study published July 2010 in the Archives of Internal Medicine by Dr. Ray.(3)  He reviewed 11 statin drug clinical trials with 65,229 participants followed for approximately 244,000 person-years.  The astounding results showed the statin drug group all-cause mortality was THE SAME as the placebo group ! (3)  The statin drug group had no health benefits over placebo!!!  This article was published in the mainstream medical literature !!

Important Point

For men who do not have underlying heart disease, taking a statin drug to lower cholesterol provides no health benefit.  They have same mortality rate as those taking a placebo drug.  In other words: no benefit.


How About Heart Attack Victims?  What's Their Cholesterol?

If cholesterol was truly the cause of heart attacks, then one would expect heart attack victims to reveal the high cholesterol causing their heart attack.  They found the opposite.  Heart attack victims have low cholesterol.  A study analyzed 137,000 admissions for coronary artery disease from 541 US hospitals, and found mean cholesterol was only 174.  This is low, not high. (4)  In addition, if high cholesterol was truly the cause of heart attacks, one would expect heart attack victims with the highest cholesterol to have the worst prognosis, and lowest cholesterol to have the best prognosis.  They don't.  A study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit showed that three years after a heart attack, the patients with lowest cholesterol had the highest mortality (14% vs. 7 %). (5)

Important point:

Patients entering the hospital with a heart attack have low cholesterol, not high cholesterol, on average.  In patients after their first heart attack, follow up studies show higher mortality for lower  cholesterol levels.   Patients  with higher cholesterol levels live longer.


The cholesterol theory of heart disease is a myth maintained by drug company propaganda to support massive profits from cholesterol lowering drugs.  For most patients, this class of drugs provides no health benefit in terms of prolonging life, while causing harm from adverse side effects.  Avoid becoming a victim of the statin drug propaganda machine.

References for Chapter 38. Getting Off Statin Drug Stories

JAMA. 2004;291(18):2243-2252. Drug Treatment of Hyperlipidemia in Women
Judith M. E. Walsh, MD, MPH; Michael Pignone, MD, MPH

(2) Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You, Uffe Ravnskov GB Publishing (January 26, 2009)

Statins and All-Cause Mortality in High-Risk Primary Prevention A Meta-analysis of 11 Randomized Controlled Trials Involving 65 229 Participants. Kausik K. Ray, MD, MPhil, FACC, FESC; Sreenivasa Rao Kondapally Seshasai, MD, MPhil; Sebhat Erqou, MD, MPhil, PhD; Peter Sever, PhD, FRCP, FESC; J. Wouter Jukema, MD, PhD; Ian Ford, PhD; Naveed Sattar, FRCPath. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(12):1024-1031.

AHJ Volume 157, Issue 1, Pages 111-117.e2 (January 2009) Lipid levels in patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease: An analysis of 136,905 hospitalizations in Get With The Guidelines. Amit Sachdeva, MD et al.

Cardiol J. 2009;16(3):227-33. Low admission LDL-cholesterol is associated with increased 3-year all-cause mortality in patients with non ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. Al-Mallah MH, Hatahet H, Cavalcante JL, Khanal S.

(6) Cholesterol and all-cause mortality in elderly people from the Honolulu. Heart Program: a cohort study. The Lancet Volume 358, Issue 9279, August 4, 2001, pp. 351-355. Irwin J Schatz MD, Kamal Masaki MD, Katsuhiko Yano MD, Randi Chen MS, Beatriz L Rodriguez MD and J David Curb MD

(7) J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Jul;51(7):991-6.Low total cholesterol and increased risk of dying: are low levels clinical warning signs in the elderly? Results from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Brescianini S, Maggi S, Farchi G, Mariotti S, Di Carlo A, Baldereschi M, Inzitari D; ILSA Group.

(8)  J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Feb;53(2):219-26. Relationship between plasma lipids and all-cause mortality in nondemented elderly. Schupf N, Costa R, Luchsinger J, Tang MX, Lee JH, Mayeux R.

(9) Scand J Prim Health Care. 2010 Jun;28(2):121-7. Serum total cholesterol levels and all-cause mortality in a home-dwelling elderly population: a six-year follow-up. Tuikkala P, Hartikainen S, Korhonen MJ, Lavikainen P, Kettunen R, Sulkava R, Enlund H.

(10)  Lipids in aging and chronic illness impact on survival, Kovesdy, C.P. Kalantar-Zadeh, K. Arch Med Sci 2007; 3, 4A: S74-S80

author Jeffrey Dach MD   Dr Dach

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