By: Kennedy Shelley
Here is the sad truth…half the people who die of heart attacks have normal or low cholesterol levels.
That means that these victims were never put on statins. These are drugs which are advertised to reduce your LDL otherwise known as bad cholesterol. (Note: this does not increase your HDL which is considered to be the good cholesterol).
Why is this important? Well unfortunately most family doctors and cardiologists are myopically focused on cholesterol as the main cause of heart disease.
But not all of them.
The Harvard Medical School of Cardiology wanted to test this and put together the JUPITER Trial which was published nearly a decade ago in the New England Journal of Medicine.
This study didn’t look at cholesterol, it looked at inflammation as the biggest risk factor for a heart attack.
The statin drug Crestor was known to reduce inflammation in the blood system.
Thousands of men and women with high inflammation but normal cholesterol were placed on the drug.
And the trial was stopped early after 1.9 years because the results were spectacular. It dropped heart attack deaths by over 54%.
There was no reason to put the group that was getting the placebo at risk by not giving them Crestor.
This should have finally changed the debate about heart attacks, the number one killer in the US.
What this study showed definitively is that it isn’t about your LDL, it’s the inflammation in your body.
It was measured by a simple blood test for hsCRP (C Reactive Protein) which most of us get, but probably don’t pay attention to.
While we are focused on the HDL/LDL we and our doctors ignore the most important number of all which is our C Reactive Proteins.
While the JUPITER participants did have a drop in their cholesterol levels, they also had a noticeable drop in hsCRP. One of the effects of low doses of Crestor is protection from inflammation.
An MIT economist did a paper called “Does Science Advance One Funeral at a Time?” His point was that eminent scientists have their idea and no one challenges it until they die.
We have a huge number of people in the medical community who were taught or teach that cholesterol is the danger to the heart, to the exclusion of all the other possible causes.
JUPITER showed that they were wrong.
There are literally millions of people who have died because they thought they were not at risk of a heart attack because their cholesterol was low, but their arteries were inflamed.
And their doctors didn’t know that 5 mg of the statin Crestor would reduce their risk of a heart attack by 54%.
Why didn’t AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of Crestor, push this? Could it be that the drug went off patent and became a generic and therefore not as profitable? The newer generation of statin drugs do not have the same anti-inflammatory effect as Crestor.
Or was it they didn’t want to attack the eminent scientists who support their statin drugs because it lowers cholesterol?
This is one study you are going to want to discuss with your doctor.
Personally I was like Dr. David Diamond who is one of the leading opponents to statin drugs. He didn’t see why people were getting horrible side effects to lower cholesterol when no one could prove lowering cholesterol could save your life.
But even Dr. Diamond notes that the JUPITER study shows there was a positive use of some statins.
If your hsCRP score is high, show it to your doctor and see if he or she is willing to try out low doses of Crestor to see if it helps.