Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Bad medicine: statins

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 31 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3566
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

An old man told me how the two boys he sat beside at school died in a diphtheria outbreak in the 1920s. But diphtheria, tetanus, epiglotitis, measles—and hopefully soon, bacterial meningitis—are illnesses of the past. Today, infectious disease consultants are left playing table tennis in the doctors’ mess. Vaccination is medicine’s miracle, protecting the individual and public health. The anti-vaccination lobby is illogical.

Today’s courageous public health idea is to offer statins to all middle aged people to prevent vascular disease. Critically, a recent Cochrane review stated that statins were safe and effective in primary prevention,1 with another meta-analysis reporting …

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