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Sep 26, 2011

To Make the Case—Evidence Is RequiredComment on “Making the Case for Selective Use of Statins in the Primary Prevention Setting”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(17):1594. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.409

Minder et al disagree that statins for primary prevention are an example of a widely used medication with no known benefit and definite risks. Although they concede that the evidence that statins prolong survival is “less than robust,” they state that such evidence cannot be expected from trials in which patients were only treated for a few years. To support their belief in statin use for primary prevention they cite a meta-analysis (Brugts et al1) that includes data from studies of both primary and secondary prevention, where most of the benefit occurred in the studies of secondary prevention. Importantly, Minder et al do not acknowledge the commonly reported adverse effects associated with statins, including memory loss, muscle pains, weakness, and liver function abnormalities.

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