“Statins Fail To Prevent Dementia or Post-op Kidney Damage”

Cholesterol-lowering statins (Lipitor, atorvastatin; Crestor, rosuvastatin; Zocor, simvastatin; Mevacor and Pravachol) are multibillion dollar drugs and are taken by over seventy million Americans.  Statins allegedly save you from hardening of the arteries by raising “good cholesterol (HDL)” and lowering supposedly “bad cholesterol (LDL).”  However, there have been wild, unsupported claims of all sorts of additional benefits, including prevention of dementia to prevention of post-operative kidney damage.  Theoretically, vascular risk factors, including high cholesterol levels, increase the risk for dementia due to Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia. A team of investigators from Queens University, Belfast, has used standard Cochrane methodology to evaluate the efficacy and safety of statins for the prevention of dementia in people at risk for dementia owing to their age.  The researchers found that there is good evidence that statins do not prevent cognitive decline or dementia when given to people in late life who are at risk for vascular disease.  The experts said, “We can now unequivocally advise our patients, and our colleagues, that statins are not effective in preventing dementia and that they should be taken only for known cardiovascular or metabolic indications.”  Another area in which statins were thought to provide benefits beyond what would be expected from their effect on cholesterol levels was in prevention of post-operative kidney damage.

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