Kids and Statin Drugs

hokeypokeyJuly 8, 2008

Did anyone see the recent article about doctors recommending statin drugs for kids as young as age 8? I'm curious to know what you think -- and what you would consider as an alternative.

Pretty scary stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: kids and cholesterol-lowering drugs

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apollog

Saw it. My thoughts were that if the youth keep eating what they eat, keep playing video games instead of getting fresh air and exercise, they will probably need statins to warn-off heart disease and box of other medicines to offer some partial protection from whole host of diseases.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 5:24PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

I saw a lot of good sense in the comments by the physician interviewed for the article.

"NEWSWEEK: You've written that "lifestyle modification is the cornerstone of cardiovascular prevention in childhood." Isn't that what the AAP should be focusing on? Are you worried that these guidelines will encourage doctors to prescribe drugs to kids with high cholesterol instead of changes in diet and exercise?
Peter Belamarich: No. If people read them carefully, they say that the statin medications should be targeted to very high-risk children. The kids who would qualify for drug treatment based on these guidelines are less than 1 percent of all children. Ninety-nine percent of children and adolescents still should be treated with what's called therapeutic lifestyle change: limiting animal fat, increasing physical activity to an hour a day."

He goes on to express concern about long-term effects of using these drugs in children, even though current knowledge suggests they're generally safe. I'd agree about very limited prescribing of statins for now, in older kids who are at very high risk for cardiovascular disease.

To give this an herbal perspective, one common supplement, red yeast rice, works like a statin drug (and in some cases has been sold with an actual statin drug as part of the formula (without this being revealed to consumers). Red yeast rice is not currently recommended for use in children due to lack of evidence about efficacy and safety in a pediatric population.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 10:15PM
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apollog

Red rice naturally contain statins, as do a variety of other fungi and fermented foods. The oyster mushrooms in grocery stores and produce stands are a notable example.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:40PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

I did'nt see anything suggesting not to take red rice. The adverse side effects are the same as for mevacor.

Hokey pokey, please be careful who you listen to on this forum if indeed anyone. It is easy for anyone to claim to be a doctor and copy things verbatum from an internet link.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 4:34PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

From the previous Mayo Clinic link:

"There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend red yeast for children."

"Hokey pokey, please be careful who you listen to on this forum if indeed anyone."

Absolutely true. Don't trust anyone, including people who tell you not to trust anyone. :)

There are some good, trustworthy sources cited in discussions here, so statements backed up by such sources are worth considering.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 7:24PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Statins may come into more wide spread use as overprescribed poorly used (that means you who don't complete your courses) antibiotics loose efficacy, preliminarily statins show some promise at reducing bacterial reproductive rates.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 4:53AM
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apollog

Interesting note on the antibacteria properties of statins - not as strong as other antibiotics, but notable (especially for 'superbugs' resistant to other antibiotics). I guess it's not surprising that such compounds from fungi might have a role in keeping bacteria in check.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 1:42PM
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kaliaman

Research studies, there have been several good ones on this topic, show that a good quality fish oil works as well as statins with none of the bad side effects.

Folks using statins have a decreased rate of second heart attacks, but have an increased rate of sudden death heart attacks. In other words, you are less likely to have one but if you do its more likely you'll die from it.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 7:10PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

"Research studies, there have been several good ones on this topic, show that a good quality fish oil works as well as statins with none of the bad side effects."

I have not heard of any such studies. Can you cite them?

"Folks using statins have a decreased rate of second heart attacks, but have an increased rate of sudden death heart attacks. In other words, you are less likely to have one but if you do its more likely you'll die from it."

In reality, evidence on sudden death risk points in the opposite direction. A review of controlled clinical trials on statin use found a decreased risk of sudden cardiac death:

"Twenty-nine trials of statin vs. control (113 568 participants) were included in the main analyses. In these trials, statin therapy did not significantly reduce the risk of ventricular tachyarrhythmia..., but was associated with a significant 10% reduction in sudden cardiac death...This compared with a 22% reduction in the risk of other 'non-sudden' (mostly atherosclerotic) cardiac deaths...Conclusion: Statins have a modest beneficial effect on sudden cardiac death."

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:05PM
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kaliaman

Thanks for the invitation to engage with you in this conversation Eric but no thank you. I've become very familiar with your posts and attitude toward fellow posters by browsing threads and that negative energy is not for me. My time is better spent doing something else.

These studies are published on the internet for anyone who wants to read them. The conclusions reached that I referenced above have been accepted as true and in fact are being taught in pharmacy and other medical training programs now.

Respectfully, Kali

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 12:24PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

There's no requirement to "engage" with anyone, but if you're going to dredge up a four-year-old discussion to make questionable claims about statins and fish oil, it's not unreasonable to ask for supporting evidence.

Your responding instead with a personal attack is an unfortunate example of "negative energy". :)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 2:16PM
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kaliaman

Eric, just curious, are you an adult?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 3:01PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

"Always with the negative waves Moriarty, always with the negative waves."

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 6:50PM
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kaliaman

You're a funny guy Eric! There is always at least one of you in any online forum.

Cheers, Kali

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 5:18PM
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