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Statins are too pricey for some

I thought this study was interesting as it shows how much income levels can affect health.

The research shows that in the 1970s it was wealthier Americans who had high cholesterol as they consumed a diet high in meat and rich foods.

With the introduction of statins, which effectively lower cholesterol it is now the lower income Americans that have higher cholesterol.

The social gap of statins

U.S. researchers looked at U.S. government survey data from 1976 to 2004. In the late 1970s, wealthier Americans generally had higher cholesterol. Lead researcher Dr Chang explained, “Back in the day, wealthier people had higher cholesterol because they were better able to afford a higher-fat diet — more red meat, butter, eggs.”

However, with the introduction of statins in 1988 this started to change. The researchers found that after statins were introduced, wealthier Americans saw a drop in their average cholesterol levels.

At the same time poorer Americans saw an increase in their cholesterol levels. The researchers suggested that poorer Americans are not able to afford statins. They also suggested that they may not be able to afford fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy lean foods.

What’s happened?

There has been a flip in the relationship between income and cholesterol in the U.S. From the late 1970s when higher-income Americans had higher cholesterol, whereas now poorer Americans have the highest levels.

For example, the wealthiest group of Americans was 70% more likely to be taking statins than the lowest income group.

The good news is …

Overall cholesterol levels in America have dropped!

From the first survey in 1976 to the last in 2004, high cholesterol among women dropped from 28% to 17%, while men had a decrease from 25% to 17%.

The research from the the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

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2 Responses to “Statins are too pricey for some”

  1. John S says:

    Yikes!! In a normal weight healthy young adult dietary cholesterol has no appreciable effect on blood cholesterol levels. The more cholesterol you eat the less the body makes. The LESS cholesterol one eats then the body makes more cholesterol. This leads to cholesterol levels that remain constant. Believe me, red meat, butter and eggs in and of themselves do not raise cholesterol. Pretty simple if you are a normal weight youth!

    The problem begins again with high insulin levels. The typical western diet is high in carbohydrates which raise insulin levels. Guess what enzyme insulin stimulates the production ofHMG-CoA Reductase? HMG-CoA Reductase is a rate limiting enzyme in the production of cholesterol within your body’s cells, primarily in the liver; but all cells have the capacity to make cholesterol. When your cells make cholesterol (or more cholesterol) then the number of LDL receptors is reduced. The LDL receptors migrate to the surface of the cell and pull cholesterol out of your blood (reduces LDL). So when you have high cholesterol your body’s cells are making too much cholesterol which reduces production of LDL receptors which then takes less cholesterol out of the blood resulting in high cholesterol. Wow! You just learned what is the CAUSE of high cholesterol……..namely, high insulin levels. Trans fats also contribute to high cholesterol by inhibiting the function of the LDL receptors.

    If anyone thinks that HMG-CoA Reductase sounds familiar they are right. The statins INHIBIT the production of HMG-CoA Reductase which INCREASES the production of LDL receptors in order for the cell to get cholesterol out of the blood in the form of LDL cholesterol. This is how your cholesterol levels are reduced by statins. Sound familiar? Well, it should because it’s the same way that an insulin lowering diet (low carb diet) works to lower your cholesterol namely by reducing HMG-CoA Reductase. The only difference is that a low carb diet has no side effects (except maybe constipation) and statins have some rare but extremely toxic side effects. I am living proof of this. In 1994 (I am 55 yrs old now) I started on the Atkins diet and my prior cholesterol level was about 260 mg/dL. After 3 months on the low carb diet my cholesterol was 167.

    The science on this is very solid and cannot really be refuted. Statins are totally worthless if one is willing to change their diet. Personally, I would not give a statin to my dogs.

    And there’s another good reason not to take statins and that is because blood cholesterol level has little, if any, impact on your chance of getting cardiovascular disease. Here’s a website to read through by another reputable scientist, Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, who has no ties to drug companies and does not make a living from getting grants. If you understand what cholesterol is and the repair mechanism of the body is then this will come as now surprise. Not only were all of the early choelsterol studies and most of the statin studies wrong – they were apparently intentionally wrong in many cases. Another piece of great evidence busting the cholesterol/heart disease theory is the fact that for several years atherosclerotic plaque has been measured all over the globe during autopsies and there is no correlation whatsoever between artery plaque and blood cholesterol level.

    Another good site with more links:

  2. Jim says:

    The numbers have dropped but what was considered high cholesterol in the 70’s isn’t the same as high cholesterol in the 2000s. Same with BP, the medical industry keeps playing with the numbers skewing the data. Therefore comparing data from 30 years ago isn’t as accurate as it should be unless the ’skewing’ is factored in.

    So, I guess uhm how do we really compare from 30 years ago?

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Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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