Hot Topics: Anti-Statin Internet Trend Could Threaten Lives

Jackie Werner Cardiology, Front Page, Hot Topics in Research

Statin Denial: An Internet-Driven Cult With Deadly Consequences

Nissen SE. Statin Denial: An Internet-Driven Cult With Deadly Consequences. Ann Intern Med. doi: 10.7326/M17-1566

The reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality during the past 3 decades represents one of the great triumphs of contemporary medicine. In 1987, the age-adjusted mortality rate in the U.S. population for cardiovascular disease was 357 in 100 000, decreasing to 167 in 100 000 by 2014 (1). Although precisely gauging the relative contributions of various public health measures to the decline in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality is impossible, most critical observers consider the introduction of statins in 1987 to be one of the keys to this success. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (>4.1 mmol/L [160 mg/dL], >3.4 mmol/L [130 mg/dL], and >2.6 mmol/L [100 mg/dL] for low-, medium-, and high-risk persons, respectively) declined from 59% to 28% between 1980 and 2010 (2). Average low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels decreased from 3.3 mmol/L (129 mg/dL) in 1988 to 1994 to 3.0 mmol/L (116 mg/dL) in 2007 to 2010.