The statin drugs are effective at around 1%. That is you have to treat 100 people to prevent one heart attack. This is not very effective, in fact it is ridiculously ineffective. Other than what I have been writing over the last year to verify this all need to do is go to the Pfizer (who make Lipitor) website and look for a table in a document titled “Product Information Lipitor” which presented the following table.
|Endpoint||LIPITOR 10mg N(%)||Placebo N(%)||Absolute Risk Reductiona %(95%CI)||Number Needed to Treat Per Year||Relative Risk Reduction %(95%CI)||P value|
Fatal CHD and Non-fatal MI
|100 (1.9)||154 (3.0)||1.07|
(0.47 to 1.67)
|310.5||36 (17 to 50)||0.0005|
Total Cardiovascular Events Including Revascularisation Procedures
|387 (7.6)||483 (9.5)||1.9 (0.08 to 2.96)||176.0||20 (9 to 30)||0.0008|
|Total Coronary Events|
Fatal and Non-fatal Stroke
|178 (3.5)||247 (4.8)||1.4 (0.06 to 2.14)||241.9||29 (14 to 41)||0.0006|
|Non-fatal MI (excludes Silent MI) |
and Fatal CHD
|0.06 (0.05 to 1.14)|
1.0 (0.42 to 1.56)
|26 (2 to 44)|
38 (19 to 53)
aBased on difference in crude events rate occurring over a medium follow-up of 3.3years.
Version : pfplipit10708 Commercial/Non-Commercial
The table is duplicated here exactly as it appears on the Pfizer website. It is the research on taking 10 mg of Lipitor. It shows in the fourth column the “Absolute Risk Reduction” of between 0.06% and 1.9%, that is, very low real risk reduction. In the sixth column it shows the relative risk reduction of between 20% and 38%, which looks so much better but is really misleading. This is where the doctors get confused. They think it is the absolute risk reduction. The fifth column, “Number Needed to Treat Per Year,” is the most telling as it shows to have a single effect you need to treat between 176 and 555.2 people, depending on the outcome desired. That is a lot of people have to be taking this drug to stop one heart attack or possibly save a single life. Levels like this are not clinically significant and do not warrant taking this drug. To be clinically significant it needs to be an absolute risk of 25-30%, not 1 or 2%. I know it sounds a bit repetitive but you can get a much greater effect with only a small change in your diet.