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Pravastatin (Pravachol) increases risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) 16-fold
Monday, April 09, 2018 9:49 am Email this article
Pravastatin (Pravachol), a statin to lower cholesterol levels, is associated with a 16-fold increase in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) as noted in an article by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con and the book Doctoring Data.
Cause and Effect?
Can we say that this is cause and effect? Yes!
Dr. Kendrick writes:
“It is often said that association does not mean causation. However, this is only true up to a point. Most statisticians agree that an odds ratio > 6 represents proof of causation. When you find that people taking atorvastatin have a seventeen-fold increase in risk of ALS, this is proof of causation. The effect is too massive to be due to anything else.”
Number of People with ALS is NOT Accurately Reported
Dr. Kendrick also writes:
“How else can you spot a rise? Well, you might find this difficult to believe, but the number of people with ALS is not that accurately reported. Even when someone dies, and has ALS, this may not be recorded as the primary cause of death. They may be recorded as dying of a respiratory infection, with ALS as the secondary cause.
“To quote from the US ALS association: ‘First, ALS is not a notifiable disease, and ensuring that all newly diagnosed and prevalent ALS cases in the United States are collected in the Registry is challenging.’ In short, we do not really know how many people have ALS, how many are coded as having something else, and suchlike.”
Evidence Supporting This
Cases of ALS has increased 3-fold in Finland, 2-fold in Norway, increased in the UK, increased in the US, increased in Australia
Dr. Kendrick goes on to say:
“I have looked around for evidence of a rise, and it does seem to exist. In Finland, after the introduction of statins the rate of ALS tripled. It also went up sharply in the UK but has levelled off since the mid-nineties. In Norway, it doubled in the nineteen nineties. It is increasing in the US, but the authorities have written this off as due to better detection and notification.
“In Australia ALS has risen. ‘In 2015, 758 people with MND died compared with 592 people with MND who died in 2001. The cause of this increase is mostly unknown.’
“So, there are strong signals that ALS has sharply increased in several countries. Cause and effect? Well, if the study in Drug Safety is correct, there must have been a rise in ALS caused by statins.”
Dr. Kendrick’s Conclusion: Should we not be demanding an immediate review?
Dr. Kendrick concludes by saying:
“However, you must ask yourself this question. If statins are causing ALS in 10,000 people each year in the UK and the US, alone, should we not be demanding an immediate review? Because the number one requirement of medicine is Priumum non Noncere. First, do no harm.”
Kendrick M. Statins and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. 2018 Apr 9. Published online.
Golomb BA, Verden A, Messner AK, Koslik HJ, and Hoffman KB. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Associated with Statin Use: A Disproportionality Analysis of the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System. Drug Saf, 2018 Apr; 41(4): 403-413.
Author’s Contact Info
Beatrice Golomb, MD
Department of Medicine
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive # 0995
La Jolla, CA, 92093-0995, USA
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