The New Cholesterol Guidelines; A rebuke from the medical community as reported by the NY Times.
Our blog reported on the new Cholesterol guidelines and were suspicious considering more patients who had doctors adhering to these guidelines would be on drugs like Lipitor whose side effects include liver damage, muscle damage and new diseases from the drugs themselves. Check out our prev report on Statin-Nation.
Apparently, there are many in the medical community that have a huge problem on how the medical data is being used, since it ignores other important facts on whom and when these drugs may be safely used by the general public. The NY Times explores this modern medical dilemma.
Bumps in the Road to New Cholesterol Guidelines
By GINA KOLATA
Published: November 25, 2013
It was supposed to be a moment of triumph. An august committee had for the first time relied only on the most rigorous scientific evidence to formulate guidelines to prevent heart attacks and strokes, which kill one out of every three Americans. The group had worked for five years, unpaid, to develop them. Then, at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, it all went horribly awry.
Many leading cardiologists now say the credibility of the guidelines, released Nov. 14, is shattered. And the troubled effort to devise them has raised broader questions about what kind of evidence should be used to direct medical practice, how changes should be introduced and even which guidelines to believe.
“This was a catastrophic misunderstanding of how you go about this sort of huge change in public policy,” said Dr. Steven Nissen, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist who is a past president of the American College of Cardiology. “There will be a large backlash.”
What went wrong? Some critics say the drafting committee mistakenly relied only on randomized controlled clinical trials, the gold standard of medical evidence, but ignored other strong data that would have led to different conclusions. The group’s efforts were severely underfunded. And it announced fundamental changes in medical practices without allowing a public debate before its guidelines were completed.