Every once in awhile I see a graph of clinical data that just blows me away. Eric Topol, a well known physician in the genetics and personalized medicine movement, tweeted this graph from a research study published in the medical journal Diabetologia. I was so floored that I had to pull down the paper. It shows dramatic rises in the risk of diabetes over time in men taking statin drugs. The risk continues to climb over an 8-9 year period!
First, I’m a heart disease risk based on my family history. So as a physician, I’ve looked into this issue in depth. I’ve already blogged on the risks of statin cholesterol lowering drugs and how pharma and it’s minions down play these risks. More importantly, is the fact that the research shows that the benefits of statins are minuscule. Hence, I’ve decided not to take them and advise my patients to do the same.
The graph above is eye popping. Why? It shows a steady increase in statins diabetes risk over time as patients take these popular drugs over 8-9 years. More concerning is that the pharma companies use drug reps to hound doctors to use the drugs to push numbers down like total or LDL cholesterol. Hence, many doctors push the doses higher to achieve these artificial goals. The graph shows that the top line is the high doses pushed by many docs and the middle dotted line are the lower doses that are less commonly used. Given that these two drugs are the number one and number two most prescribed medications with sales of 10 billion 2002 dollars a year, you can see the magnitude of the problem.
The upshot? What if the American medical establishment had a “naked in times square moment” realizing that the statin drugs they’ve been pushing for decades to help heart disease are at the root cause of the diabetes epidemic causing heart disease? You just can’t make this stuff up…