Archive for July 27th, 2007

The Low Cholesterol and Cancer Link…

July 27, 2007

Lowering the cholesterol level of any patient with risk for heart disease is very important.  It is a MUST for any patient with Diabetes or Hypertension. It is sometimes difficult to convince patients to take anticholesterol meds because many are so afraid of the link to liver disease rather than be afraid of the heart disease if cholesterol is not regulated.  Likewise, patient remains asymptomatic even with elevated cholestrol so the urgency to seek treatment is not there.

Now comes another story linking low cholesterol to cancer!!!!

The increase in cancer incidence among statin users was small — about one extra case per 1,000 people, according to the study in the July 31 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Apparently the slight increase in cancer incidence was found in 13 trials among statin users who achieved the lowest LDL cholesterol levels.

Is This A Cause For Alarm?

Most likely NOT! Again this is only an observation among the 23 trials studied and NOT a Cause and Effect Situation.  This calls for more attention and further study but again just like any drug or intervention we do…If there’s an effect…there almost always a Side Effect!  If you take a drug based on a premise that it is so safe without side effects then you are in for the worst!  Most likely you were sold by the marketing strategy of the sales agent!

Remember… the economic burden of suffering from heart disease is more than the risk of getting cancer in this case.  Likewise the effect of lowering cholesterol and lowering ones risk for heart disease is PROVEN .  It is also possible that by postponing disability and death due to heart disease, we make people live longer and in population studies, the longer we live the more likely we will get other diseases and cancer is one of them!.

My Recommendation is for my patients NOT TO WORRY!

The benefits of lowering cholesterol continue to outweigh the risks! Continue taking the drugs and I will continue to implement the same strategy of aggressiive lowering of cholesterol to prevent the target organ of high cholesterol levels…The HEART!

Low Cholesterol Unlinks The Burden Of Heart Attack!