Thursday, February 12, 2009

The great Statin scam

Statins are the medical equivalent of global warming: A great theory, dubious evidence but believers still want to shove it down all our throats anyway. Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs and are supposed to prevent heart attacks. And there are proposals to make everybody take them.

Don't laugh: We are already compulsorily medicated with iodides, vitamin D and folates by having them added to our table salt, butter and bread. And that really gives the knowalls who want to dictate to everybody an erection. They are always looking for something else that they can make us take. The fact that folates in bread have given lots of American men bowel cancer is rarely mentioned: "Shut up and take it! It's good for you" is the attitude. And there is now a new study out that is giving the health Fascists a big boost. Like global warming theory, however, it overlooks a lot.

The big problem with statins is that they often have severe and unpleasant side-effects. So lots of people who are given them to take only take a few tablets before they leave the rest sitting untouched in their medicine cabinet. So the limited evidence for the benefits of statins is severely polluted by that. You have to be pretty robust to start with in order to tolerate taking statins. And so the takers (compliers) have fewer heart attacks not because of the statins but because they were more robust to start with!

The latest study shows some dim awareness of that. They actually managed to find out whether people were taking their prescribed pills or not. And they found -- surprise! -- that the compliers did indeed get fewer heart attacks. You might think that that finding would kick the whole statin craze up the behind but it is the reverse. It is being hailed as great new evidence for the benefit of statins and the heath fascists are really having an orgy over it. See here, for instance. So don't be too sure that you won't be taking them soon in some way and wondering why you do not feel as well as you used to.

Fuller details are on my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. The citation for the new study is: Shalev, V. et al. (2009) "Continuation of Statin Treatment and All-Cause Mortality". Arch. Intern. Med. 169(3):260-268


BrookesNews Update

Are bonds and stocks signalling bad news for the US economy? : The Fed cannot expand the money supply at the current rate with generating a severe inflation. On the other hand, it cannot suddenly slap on the monetary breaks without the very real risk of sending the economy into a tailspin. If Bernanke insists on flooding the economy with money a rapid rise in inflation cannot be avoided, bringing in its wake a falling dollar and a possible collapse of the bond market
America will pay a heavy price for Obama's economic illiteracy: Despite the lessons of history and the fact that he is a proud member of the 'reality-based' community Obama and his advisors are total economic and historical illiterates who suffer from a big government fetish. Unfortunately, their addiction to big government will carry a heavy price for the American people
Rudd's stimulus package will fail : Without a reasonable grasp of capital theory it is impossible to fully comprehend what is going on with the economy. This is why so much economic commentary is very bad, including the stuff Treasury officials come out with, which brings us right back to Dr Ken Henry's spending nonsense
Benicio del Toro and Che Guevara: Tune in, Turn on - Get Shot: Had del Toro been born two decades earlier and in Cuba and attempted the lifestyle of a U.S. teenager or campus rebel, his 'digging' of Castroite Cuba would have been of a more literal nature. Benicio would have found himself digging ditches and mass-graves in a prison camp system inspired by the man he glorified as 'Jesus Christ'
These projects are shovel-ready, all right: This is not a stimulus - it's a see rip-off. The Democrats are using the alleged crisis as the pretext for a monumental looting of the taxpayers (present and future) in the service of rewarding the interest groups that put them in power
Obama's "Change" - but not just yet : If recovery will take years then why does Obama say the crisis is imminent and so we must spend over a trillion dollars now and more soon? Why is the money he wants to spend not going to improve the economy but rather on his socialist plans? Why is most of the money to be spent in the next two to three years and not now if we need an immediate 'stimulus' to improve our economy and avoid the 'worst depression in years'? Something smells



Israel: Voters deliver split decision; Knesset shifts right: "Israeli voters on Tuesday delivered a split decision in national elections, sparking competing claims by backers of opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni over who will be the next prime minister. Voters appeared to give Livni's Kadima Party, which favors negotiations with the Palestinians, a slight and unexpected edge over Netanyahu's Likud, which has been critical of peace talks, according to nearly complete returns and exit polls. But the overall shift in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, was sharply to the right."

Thanks, but we don't need an arts czar: "There is nothing new under the sun, says the Good Book, and the plea for a Cabinet-level secretary of arts and culture is no exception. That plea comes most recently from composer-producer Quincy Jones, who has long wanted the United States to establish a national ministry of culture akin to those in Italy, Germany or France. `The next conversation I have with President Obama is to beg for a secretary of arts,' he said in a radio interview shortly after the presidential election. Culture and the arts are `just as important as military defense,' Jones argues, and a federal arts czar can ensure that American students learn something of their cultural roots."

The 180-degree reversal of Obama's State Secrets position : "To underscore just what a complete reversal the Obama DOJ's conduct is, consider what Seante Democrats were saying for the last several years. In early 2008, Sens. Kennedy and Leahy, along with Sen. Arlen Specter, sponsored the State Secrets Protection Act. It had numerous co-sponsors, including Joe Biden. In April, 2008, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill, with all Committee Democrats voting for it, along with Specter. The scheme of restrictions imposed on the privilege by that bill was the consensus view of the pre-2009 Democratic Party. The primary purpose of that bill is to bar the precise use of the State Secrets privilege which the Obama DOJ yesterday defended: namely, as a tool to force courts to dismiss entire lawsuits from the start without any proceedings being held, rather than as a focused instrument for protecting specific pieces of classified information from disclosure."

Protectionism is the embrace of fear, the rejection of hope: "In the context of America's $17-trillion economy, $12-trillion national debt and $4-trillion federal budget, a few billion dollars worth of international trade doesn't sound like much. Yet Americans and foreigners concerned about free trade have every reason to get worked up about the proposed `Buy America' mandate in Washington's massive stimulus plan. Although modest in its likely economic consequences, a Buy America mandate represents the exact opposite of what the new president promised in his campaign - it's a triumph of fear over hope."

Tax credit for house buying - good or bad?: "Superficial thinking might conclude that a tax credit for buying a house is good for the economy, since more folks will buy houses. More house buying would reduce the decline of residential real estate. That would reduce the mortgage defaults, help the banks, and the birds would sing. More thorough thinking would realize that what one person gains, others must lose. The tax credits will reduce tax revenues in 2009 and 2010, making the federal budget deficit that much larger, and requiring more borrowing. That sucks in money that would have been invested in job-creating private enterprise."

Obama attempts to spin tax cuts and does it badly: "Now whether or not you agree that a stimulus package is needed or not, the point to be made here is a bunch of politicians from different sides agreeing that something must be done and one of them being pleased that the other side is considering tax cuts as a major part of that 'something' does not equal being `brought in early' or being `consulted.' That happens when the bill is written and put into final form, and as everyone know, Republicans weren't brought in at all on that process, much less consulted. So when that final bill was trotted out and placed before the full House, with no debate, Republican[s] voted 177-0 against it. They did so for a number of reasons, but primary among them was they had had no part in writing the bill. But of equal importance, the tax cuts that they were promised would be in the bill and comprise approximately 40% of it total, just weren't there."

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


1 comment:

Robert said...

Regarding the new statin scam, I remember reading years ago that there are plenty of natural ways of preventing or treating heart disease, but as natural products are not patentable in the U.S., only the statin drugs designed to lower cholesterol levels were something the drug companies could patent for the usual protected profits.