Statins for Thirtysomethings? Think Again

Statins for Thirtysomethings? Think Again.

Research published in a trade cardiology journal this week claims doctors are missing a valuable market patient population by emphasizing statins for older individuals. If medications were introduced earlier in life, profit benefit could be enhanced.

Think like a marketer. Statin medication for primary prevention of heart disease does not lengthen life [check out the book Overdosed America, by John Abramson, MD], and the current market is saturated. With data showing no benefit after the age of eighty there is only one way to push the marketing department—get ‘em young! Here lies the recent study: “High cholesterol in 30s, 40s, increases later risk of heart disease”, by Ann Marie Navar-Boggan, MD, PhD, et al.


In the study, the numbers speak to the market discussion—“about 43% of people ages 60 to 74 take medicine to lower cholesterol, while just 2% in their 30s and 9% in their 40s do so”, according to Seth Martin, a Johns Hopkins Hospital cardiology researcher. The sad part of the recent study is that it wasn’t a study at all. It was an evaluation of the Framingham data—researchers cherry-picked individuals with high LDL prior to age 55 and checked them 15-20 years out. This is garbage science—they made sure to include a few very high risk individuals in the study population to provide statistical significance. Again, the researchers admit this in their evaluation, “Other factors including obesity and diabetes could have contributed to some of the increased risk, the researchers said.”

This is pulling old data strings with known scientific faults to provide a marketing message. I am so sad, that as I approach fifty, I carry heightened skepticism—I do not think pharmaceutical medical care is our best steward for prevention and health and vitality for the decades to come. You have my commitment to help you find the path that does work for you. []

–Richard Maurer, Parent, author, fellow health traveler, physician.