Tuesday, July 21, 2009

11. Statins and Heart Failure

It is of course widely believed that statins are beneficial in the treatment of heart disease. However, the only aspect of heart disease they have been shown to benefit with statistical significance is the incidence of minor heart attacks in men in their 50's with cardiovascular issues. Another way that problems with the heart can kill you besides heart attacks is heart failure, and it is not a disease you want to die of. It is a slow and painful death.

Doctor Peter Langsjoehn believes that statins are inducing an epidemic rise in the incidence of heart failure. He wrote: "In my practice of 17 years in Tyler, Texas, I have seen a frightening increase in heart failure secondary to statin usage, "statin cardiomyopathy". Over the past five years, statins have become more potent, are being prescribed in higher doses, and are being used with reckless abandon in the elderly and in patients with 'normal' cholesterol levels. We are in the midst of a CHF epidemic in the US with a dramatic increase over the past decade. Are we causing this epidemic through our zealous use of statins? In large part I think the answer is yes. " (Statins and Heart Failure) .

This idea seems entirely plausible to me, if only for the simple reason that the heart is a muscle, and statin drugs are known to cause muscle damage. Muscle pain, muscle weakness, and the potentially fatal disease rhabdomyalysis (where destroyed muscle fibers are released into the blood stream and ultimately induce kidney failure) are all known side effects of statin drugs. (Statins and Muscle Damage) . A heart that is already weakened due to heart disease, viewed as a muscle, seems very vulnerable to abuse from statin drugs.

Dr. Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary G. Enig seem to agree with this assessment, and they explain it as likely due to the depletion of Coenzyme-Q10 directly due to statin interference: "We are currently in the midst of a congestive heart failure epidemic in the United States--while the incidence of heart attack has declined slightly, an increase in the number heart failure cases has outpaced these gains. Deaths attributed to heart failure more than doubled from 1989 to 1997. (Statins were first given pre-market approval in 1987.) Interference with production of Co-Q10 by statin drugs is the most likely explanation. The heart is a muscle and it cannot work when deprived of Co-Q10." (Heart Failure Epidemic) .

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