Statins cholesterol: what it is, the benefits and harms
Statins in cardiology and therapy is called a class of drugs that can stop the increase in the concentration of cholesterol in the blood and reduce its. In the last twenty years due to the extensive development of the principles of evidence-based medicine appeared a lot of conclusive data on the Association of hypercholesterolemia with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Such severe complications of hypertension like heart attacks and strokes caused by atherothrombosis, is also indirectly associated with high numbers of cholesterol. Still, some experts believe that statins are cholesterol can do more harm than good. Is it really so? Let’s try to understand the situation.
For years, the statins, which belong to different classes of substances with different mechanisms of action, used as lipidemias drugs. Indications for their use were very simple:
- high numbers of cholesterol;
- the presence of risk factors of formation of blood clots with normal cholesterol levels.
Statins to exert its action, patients were reached in a number of cases targets of cholesterol, and everyone was happy. But the publication of studies Canada in 2013 caused a bombshell: according to them, the most powerful of the drugs (Atorvastatin, Rosuvastatin and Simvastatin), for many years successfully used worldwide, can cause acute kidney inflammation, the risk is most likely just the first 4 – 5 months after starting. Especially shocked the scientific community that the risk persists for 2 years after discontinuation of the drug.
Hypertension no longer a death sentence?
The cardiologist said that there is finally a cure for hypertension …
Ignorant people started to make claims to the pharmaceutical companies, first released the original drugs to market: «what is it, could not conduct the necessary research…». But the company was not to blame: statistically significant values were obtained only when more than a decade of research, which consisted of a painstaking analysis, which involved over two million people.
To drink or not to drink
Of course, before this study, the statins, like any drug, stated its side effects. But statins have become a target for nomination of the various theories and skeptical assessments. Reputable European magazines began to appear information that long-term use of statins increases the risk of developing cataracts, adversely affects liver function. Began to arise even such publications, which proves that low cholesterol is not always good and can be the cause of various diseases.
As it turned out, not only statins, and other cholesterol drugs (fibrates) had harmful side effects, leading to digestive disorders and muscle weakness. Some experts and patients considered a cure-all these drugs that reduce the intake of cholesterol from food. But as you know, most of the cholesterol formed within the body, and only 1/3 comes in the form of exogenous cholesterol from food.
In defense of statins
The use of statins significantly reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death, myocardial infarction, recurrent ischemic attacks, strokes and other thrombotic conditions. The use of statins have been counted using pharmacoeconomic methods, and found that their intake allow the national economy to save millions of rubles due to the reduction of cases of heart attacks and strokes. As can be seen, across the country to seriously discuss «pros and cons» is pointless in view of the obvious huge benefit from the use of statins. In addition, if the doctor and the patient had a preliminary conversation, the risk of occurrence of side effects is much lower than the risk of developing serious diseases.
The important point is smooth «translation» of statins in self-treatment and care from medical control. Many patients with special diseases (chronic hepatitis, diabetes mellitus, thrombophlebitis) are starting to take statins under strict medical observation: after a week of admission the patient assigned control tests red blood and biochemical tests that check liver function and tolerability of the drug.
Some time later, the patient begins to take these drugs illegally, without the knowledge of the attending physician. The argument usually boils down to this: «last year at this time I was appointed, I-propyl, so this time I’m gonna go get». Of course, the likelihood of side effects in this case will be much higher even when using the same drug in the same dosage. Yes, the drug remained the same. But one can become the other. Most importantly, why is the debate about the benefits and harms of statins is the fact that it is still unclear the role of cholesterol in the human body, and attitude as aggressive «enemy» vessels finds many counter-arguments.
What to do for the patient?
In a sense, the news about the side effects of statins can discipline the potential group of patients that break all the doctors ‘ orders and secretly hope for the miraculous power of tablets, which they must prescribe. It is important to take up the mind, without waiting for assistance from the drug, and use it as a backup, not the primary tool.
That is why you need to appeal to the mind of the middle generation and also young people, in order for as long as possible not testimony to the appointment of drugs that reduce cholesterol. For this you need to follow a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition. They will help to keep the vessels clean. These immutable principles:
Doctors believed that I had cured the hypertension!
«Hypertension is not a death sentence. Just need to take care of myself» — the blog of actor Oleg Tabakov.
- limit receipt of cholesterol with food, the use of vegetable oils, fiber and seafood;
- the rejection of bad habits and stimulants (coffee, Cola);
- physical activity;
- normalization of body weight;
- regular check-up.
If a man to a ripe old age retained his physical form, a clear head, and he has a determined high numbers of cholesterol in the absence of any complaints in this case generally should not intervene in the processes of life and to try to lower your cholesterol without any significant reason.
In a sense, this situation can be compared with the airplane flight. Everyone knows that the crash almost never leave a chance to survive, but, nevertheless, the probability of being hit by a car on the street far above, and the speed of delivery via air transportation and the improvement of security measures and technical controls makes many successfully to spend time in long flights. Precisely in such terms can be described the benefits and harms of statins: they help all and harm to individuals, and that they are indistinguishable from any other medicines.