No one argues the beneficial effect of fluorides in the water supply. I am the first to concede that testimonials are one of the lower forms of evidence. On the other hand, six years ago I found out that I had asymptomatic left main coronary disease requiring an immediate cardiac bypass. True, I had mild hypertension but also a total cholesterol in the range of 225. I was placed on a statin and now (with minimal dietary changes) my LDL is less than my age. I cannot help but wonder if I had been placed on a statin 25 years ago if my heart surgery (and vessel damage ) could have been avoided.

We all know that classic risk factors do not predict almost 50% of acute coronary syndromes. We also know that simply lowering cholesterol by a drug does not necessarily tie to decreased heart disease. We are also just starting to understand how the inflammatory process is playing a role  in ACS.

The studies on statins are overall favorable, but they are not compelling.

Yet when I speak at medical meetings I love to ask cardiologists whether they are on statins. To my informal analysis it seems like at least 90% of cardiologists I ask are taking the drug.

So what do we do?

Statins do have side effects. Musculoskeletal symptoms can be a nuisance and liver disease can be fatal.

Let’s face it. Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of death for Americans. To this date we do not completely understand the pathophysiology of ACS.

Well for me, I will stay on a statin. I will check the cholesterol of my 23 year old son, and, if it is elevated, put him on a statin now and not wait until he is diagnosed with heart disease 25 years later. We need to intervene now, not later.

Maybe putting a statin in the water supply is a bit extreme.

Maybe just in bottled water?

The Latest

The Future of Generative Artificial Intelligence

The Future of Generative Artificial Intelligence

What Does the Future of Generative AI Hold? It was only a little more than a year ago that ChatGPT exploded onto the market. Within two months, it had acquired over 100 million users, an accomplishment rarely seen with emerging technology. As an example, it took Uber 70 months and Instagram 30 months to obtain that same level of ...
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics… And Now AI!

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics… And Now AI!

Exploring Potential AI Bias in Healthcare We have all heard of the quote attributed to Benjamin Disraeli: “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Lately, there has been increasing concern that AI outputs may be either intrinsically or intentionally biased. When coupled with the reality that AI’s power and intelligence is progressing at an ...
Ambient Clinical Intelligence: A Welcome Benefit to Providers and Patients

Ambient Clinical Intelligence: A Welcome Benefit to Providers and Patients

Ambient Clinical Intelligence Is an Exciting Use Case for AI in Healthcare Of all the AI innovations that are exploding into healthcare, this is one of the most exciting. Ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) is a process that uses advanced AI and voice recognition technology to automatically document patient encounters in real time, without ...