If you’ve made it to 80 without heart disease, you deserve a pat on the back from your doctor.
But there’s a good chance he’s about to give you something much more dangerous — and potentially deadly – instead.
A prescription for a cholesterol-lowering statin drug.
A frightening new study has found that more than a third of perfectly healthy people over 80 – people with absolutely no history of heart disease – have now been prescribed statins they never needed.
It’s part of a dangerous trend that’s making Big Pharma a fortune. But if we don’t stop it, there are going to be thousands of seniors who are permanently “down with Crestor.”
As in down for the count.
A dangerous and deadly gameIt was “quite shocking.”
That’s how Dr. Michael Johansen of Ohio State University described his research finding that 34 percent of healthy people in their 80s were still being given statins.
But if Dr. Johansen is surprised that Big Pharma is forcing these meds on millions of people who don’t need them, well, he hasn’t been paying attention.
Over the years I’ve told you about insane plans to force statins on teens and even drop them in our water supply!
But let’s face it – the drug companies know where the real money is. With the Baby Boomers aging, the number of Americans in their 80s is about to explode over the next decade.
If Big Pharma can make statins a fact of life for folks in their 80s – even people who won’t benefit and could end up dead as a result — it stands to make billions.
And make no mistake about it — once you give otherwise healthy people in their 80s a statin, some of them are going to die. Especially because research has proven that statins can give even healthy people life-threatening cases of diabetes.
In fact, you might remember that I told you this spring about a massive study that followed 26,000 people who had no history of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. But once they started taking statins, their chances of developing type 2 diabetes skyrocketed by 87 percent.
And these were extremely serious cases of diabetes, too. The poor statins’ victims in this study were more than twice as likely to develop diabetes-related complications like nerve damage, vision loss, kidney failure, and heart disease.
“We’re overdosing on cholesterol-lowering statins, and the consequence could be a sharp increase in the incidence of Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Eric Topol, the former head of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.
But even if statins don’t give you diabetes, they can still wreck your life in at least three frightening ways:
#1: They steal your mind: Even the FDA admits that statins can cause memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion – and it can start after you’ve only been taking them for a few days. If you’re over 80, these symptoms could quickly lead to a dementia diagnosis.
#2: They steal your sight: A study last year out of Canada found that statins increase your risk of cataracts and other vision problems by 27 percent.
#3: They steal your independence: Statins can cause such severe muscle pain that one Crestor patient said he’d rather take his chances with heart disease than spend one more day on the pill.
As Dr. Johansen points out, staying active is critical to your health and your ability to live independently. But the pain you may experience on statins can leave you glued to the couch in agony.
It’s criminal that so many patients are being exposed to these risks. Especially when there’s not a shred of evidence that statins can do a darned thing for people over 80 with no history of heart disease (or for the rest of us, for that matter).
If you or someone you love is in your 80s and your ticker is in tip-top shape, remind your doctor that he should be coming to you for advice – instead of handing you a prescription for a one-way ticket to side effect torture.
“Use of statins rising among very elderly” Kathryn Doyle, August 25, 2015, Reuters, reuters.com