BMJ: ‘Adding a sulfonylurea to metformin looks safer than switching to one’

BMJ: ‘Adding a sulfonylurea to metformin looks safer than switching to one’

July 25 2018 Switching to sulfonylureas in type 2 diabetes has been linked with an increased risk...

DOACs associated with reduced risk of major bleeding compared to warfarin

DOACs associated with reduced risk of major bleeding compared to warfarin

July 11 2018 Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have been associated with reduced risks of major...

Recorded penicillin allergy associated with increased risk of MRSA and C difficile

Recorded penicillin allergy associated with increased risk of MRSA and C difficile

July 3 2018 People who have a record of penicillin allergy are at an increased risk of developing...

Syphilis and gonorrhoea diagnoses see significant increase

Syphilis and gonorrhoea diagnoses see significant increase

June 11 2018 Annual reporting of sexually transmitted infection diagnoses has increased 0.3% in...

Anticholinergics linked to increased risk of dementia

Anticholinergics linked to increased risk of dementia

April 30 2018 Anticholinergic drugs used in helping control some involuntary muscle movement...

  • BMJ: ‘Adding a sulfonylurea to metformin looks safer than switching to one’

    BMJ: ‘Adding a sulfonylurea to metformin looks safer than switching to one’

    Wednesday, 25 July 2018 13:55
  • DOACs associated with reduced risk of major bleeding compared to warfarin

    DOACs associated with reduced risk of major bleeding compared to warfarin

    Wednesday, 11 July 2018 13:11
  • Recorded penicillin allergy associated with increased risk of MRSA and C difficile

    Recorded penicillin allergy associated with increased risk of MRSA and C difficile

    Tuesday, 03 July 2018 16:42
  • Syphilis and gonorrhoea diagnoses see significant increase

    Syphilis and gonorrhoea diagnoses see significant increase

    Monday, 11 June 2018 14:16
  • Anticholinergics linked to increased risk of dementia

    Anticholinergics linked to increased risk of dementia

    Monday, 30 April 2018 12:08

Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

heartbeat1January 13 2016

The British Heart Foundation has challenged the conclusions of research which suggested that statins may be linked to causing heart disease.

It has flagged up concerns raised in the press based on research from Japan and the US which “selected and reviewed a series of studies looking at how cholesterol-lowering statins have an effect on the cells of the body.

“They concluded that, contrary to most evidence, statins trigger coronary heart disease and heart failure. Information from studies of this kind is different from what we learn when looking at how statins affect people in clinical trials,” said the BHF. “We disagree with the conclusions made in the review of research.”

The BHF says the vast majority of evidence, including from studies which the BHF has funded shows that statins are very safe and effective at reducing a person’s risk of a heart attack or stroke.

A year ago, the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology published a paper which concluded that statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure. The researchers said that statins might actually cause calcification of the coronary artery and can act as toxins in cell mitochondria by depleting coenzymeQ10 and ‘heme A’, interfering with ATP generation.

Last month newspapers picked up on a European Heart Journal study which found that among 674,900 Danish patients, “for every negative nationwide news story about the cholesterol-lowering drug, there was a 9% increased risk of people deciding to stop taking statins within six months of first being prescribed the drug.”

The Danish researchers found that early statin discontinuation increased with negative statin-related news stories, but the opposite occurred for positive stories. It also found that early discontinuation of statin therapy was associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction and death from cardiovascular disease.

Dr Mike Knapton, BHF Associate Medical Director, commented:

“The majority of published evidence supports the current advice on taking statins and some of the best evidence about the safety and effectiveness of statins has come from the Heart Protection Study, which was research funded by the public through donations to the BHF and tax payer funding via the Medical Research Council.

“We can be very confident that statins lower the bad LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and help to reduce a person’s risk of a deadly or disabling heart attack or stroke. Thousands of lives a year are saved by statins, which are now very affordable for the NHS because so many are off-patent.

“It is particularly important that people at high risk of a heart attack or stroke take their prescribed medication. Individuals can assess their cardiovascular risk and find information about how to reduce it using the NHS heart age tool on the BHF website. If someone is unsure about their heart medicines, they can speak with their GP or contact our helpline on 0300 330 3311.”

BHF has also published an article in its Heart Matters magazine for patients addressing the question ‘Are statins safe?’.

Links:

BHS announcement

Okuyama H et al. ‘Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms’. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. March 2015; 8(2):189-99

SF Nielsen at al. ‘Negative statin-related news stories decrease statin persistence and increase myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality: a nationwide prospective cohort study’. EHJ. Published online December 2 2015

BHF Heart Matters article

Clinical News

July 31 2018 General practices employing pharmacists are citing improved capacity to see patients and workload changes as the main benefits of the scheme.
July 25 2018 Switching to sulfonylureas in type 2 diabetes has been linked with an increased risk of complications compared with staying on metformin, a BMJ study has concluded. However, the study has...