Statins Vs Diet
Researchers looked at a measurement defined as Number Needed to Treat (NNT) comparing people who used statins (cholesterol lowering drugs) and those on a Mediterranean Diet. NNT is a useful measurement that looks at the estimate of people needed to undergo a treatment in order to prevent one more additional adverse outcome from happening. Researchers also look at the Number Needed to Harm (NNH) to look at the possible side effect risks.
The researchers looked at people on statin drugs for 5 years who had no history of heart disease. The NNT for this group was 104, meaning 104 people would have to take the drug to see one extra person’s heart attack being prevented. NNH was 1 in 50 people who developed diabetes. Also, 1 in 10 people experienced muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis) and undiagnosed muscle pain was not even included in these findings.
When looking at a population of people who have a history of heart disease the NNT was 83 to prevent 1 more death, 39 to prevent 1 more non-fatal attack. The NNH findings were the same for those who had no history of heart disease.
Researchers looked at a population in a randomized trail of those who were on the Mediterranean diet for 5 years. They found that the NNT for this group was 61 for prevention of stroke, heart attack, or death. There were NO NNH found for the group on this diet.
For those who have had a heart attack in the past the NNT for those on the diet is 18 for another heart attack, and the NNT for preventing cancer and death was 30.5
What these statistics show is that a Mediterranean Diet is a better choice than statins for prevention of stroke, heart attack, and even death.
If you or someone you know is at risk find out how to get your diet back on track to help prevent these unhealthy outcomes.
Other Health Topics:
Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.