LDL-Cholesterol – The “Bad” Cholesterol Explained

There are several reasons why we should be interested in the numbers reflecting the amount of cholesterol circulating in our bloodstream. However, to be able to interpret these numbers we have to know certain things about cholesterol as a chemical substance and its role health and disease. Interestingly, although cholesterol is an essential substance for … Read more

Exploring the “Lore of Nutrition”

For the last few days, my Kindle has been my closest companion. “What are you reading”? my wife asked. “I’m reading Lore of Nutrition.” “Ooh, I was sure it was a thriller or one of your crime stories.” In fact, she was right. Although Lore of Nutrition is a book about nutrition, it reads like … Read more

Niacin (Nicotinic Acid, Vitamin B3) – Who Should Take Niacin?

Niacin (nicotinic acid), also known as vitamin B3, is one of eight known B vitamins. It has been used for decades to lower cholesterol and reduce cardiovascular risk. However, today its use is somewhat debated. Meat and fish are the richest sources of nicotinic acid followed by fortified enriched grain, vegetables, and yeast. Tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey, … Read more

Using Coronary Calcium Score to Target Statin Treatment in Primary Prevention – The Biolmage Study

Targeting Statin Treatment In Primary Prevention – The Biolmage Study

Cholesterol-lowering medications are being prescribed to almost 30% of US adults aged 40 and over, most of these are statins drugs (1). The number increases with age, and approximately 48% of adults older than 75 are receiving such treatment. It has been suggested that treating more older individuals with statins may prevent a substantial number of cardiovascular events, and that, … Read more

Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Age: Is it all about the cholesterol?

For decades, scientists have been trying to find out what causes heart disease. Although we have gained some knowledge along the way, many questions remain unanswered. Instead of providing clear answers, scientific research often raises a set of new issues that have to be addressed. The American physicist, Thomas S. Kuhn wrote that “to be scientific is among … Read more

Statins for Women – Statistical Acrobatics

When to prescribe statin therapy for people without established cardiovascular disease is a hotly debated issue among medical doctors. Recent clinical guidelines have recommended extending the use of these drugs to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease. Recommendations on statin use are to a large extent based on meta-analyses on data from randomized controlled trials, either comparing statins to placebo … Read more

Statins and Diabetes – Time to Let the Cat out of the Bag

Recently, concerns have been raised about the increased risk of diabetes associated with statin therapy. However, it has been pointed out that the risk of diabetes is low in absolute terms and when compared with the reduction in cardiovascular events achieved by treatment. In other words, the potential benefits to health are believed to outweigh potential … Read more

The Lipid Hypothesis – Closing in on the Truth

Today was a big day at the annual conference of the American Heart Association in Chicago. The results of the long and eagerly awaited IMPROVE-IT trial were presented. You may think IMPROVE-IT is just another ordinary study of the efficacy of a particular cholesterol lowering drug. But it’s more than that because it tests the important and heavily debated lipid … Read more

HDL Cholesterol – The “Good” Cholesterol Explained

High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) is commonly measured to assess the risk of heart disease. If you’ve had a blood sample drawn for assessment of lipid panel you probably already know if your cholesterol level is acceptable or not. You might also recall something about good and bad cholesterol and the ratio between these two. Of course, … Read more

Statins, Statistics and Statinistics

Current medical knowledge is to a large extent based on results from scientific studies. Traditionally, these results are published in peer-reviewed medical journals. Before being accepted, a scientific paper has to go through critical assessment by expert reviewers who will assess the paper’s suitability for publication. The peer review process is intended to guarantee standards of quality and … Read more