Thursday, August 28, 2008
Low Cholesterol Increases Cancer and Death Risk
In a major shot fired across the bow of the statin marketing machine, the levels of LDL cholesterol that are the artificial targets of "health" promoted by the American Heart Association (AHA) are now found to be associated with a significant increased risk of cancer and death.
The AHA recommends an LDL level of 100 for prevention and 70 for high risk patients. In the new study an LDL level of 107 was associated with a 33% increased risk of cancer and death, an LDL level of 87 was associated with a 50% increased risk. As the LDL goes lower the risk keeps getting worse. These arbitrary AHA levels for LDL cholesterol were established by "experts" with direct financial ties to the statin industry, who knew full well that reaching their artificially low target levels for LDL would require double and triple doses of statin drugs, thus dramatically increasing sales (which has indeed happened).
The Vytorin fraud has pointed out quite clearly that lowering LDL cholesterol to very low levels does not reduce cardiovascular disease. Another Vytorin study also shows doing so increases cancer risk by 64%. The new study paints the clear picture that lowering LDL too low actually increases the rate of death from any cause. This new study also points out the statistical shenanigans that the statin industry uses to hide the actual risks of these drugs in the studies that have been published.
The data was so alarming that the researchers called for a statistical reanalysis of the data from all existing cholesterol studies, using better statistical models that actually reflect true risk. The results of this new research led the authors to conclude "A low LDL cholesterol level is not necessarily associated with optimal clinical outcomes but is a predictor of cancer and death."
We have known for many years that individuals who maintain an LDL cholesterol level of 130 as they enter their 40s and 50s have much less heart disease as they grow older. This is because they are healthy and have maintained fitness in their cholesterol function and metabolism. There is no credible data to show that lowering LDL numbers with statins actually produces a similar level of health, especially to artificially low numbers. There is a huge difference between having good cholesterol numbers because you are healthy and drugging your body's synthesis of cholesterol with statins.
In the current study the ideal LDL cholesterol level was 126. The researchers were able to identify a bell shaped curve, in terms of a departure in either direction from this ideal number. LDL over 146 or less than 107 was associated with 33% increased risk of cancer. LDL over 164 of less than 87 was associated with a 50% increased risk. The risk keeps getting worse the higher or lower the number progresses away from the ideal of 126. LDL in the range of 108 – 145 had no statistically significant cancer risk, although being in the center of this range is clearly best.
There have been a number of studies in the past that link low cholesterol and cancer risk. However, these studies could not prove that the cancer was not already there prior to the start of the study – which has been the main argument used (besides statistical manipulation) by the statin industry to deny the association. In the new study this issue was taken into account by eliminating participants with less than 2.5 years follow up after the start of the study, thus demonstrating that the results were not due to pre-existing cancer.
Needless to say, this study was not part of the marketing machine propaganda that is rampant in universities and "scientific" journals that have been used to promote the statin scam around the world, while actively blackmailing and blacklisting any authors, institutions, or journals that dare to step on Big Pharma's statin toes. This study was published on August 26, 2008 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. It was carried out in Hong Kong with Chinese patients who had type II diabetes – the exact patient who is forced onto aggressive cholesterol lowering with statin drugs in America.