In the first issue of Spectator Health, our cover piece is on the controversial issue of statins, arguably the most important ‘consumer’ medical issue facing people today. As Dr James LeFanu, our cover author, notes, GPs are eager to prescribe statins to anyone over 40 with even a slightly elevated cholesterol level. This is how Le Fanu first discovered the problems with statins:
‘I first became aware of the scale of this hidden epidemic of apparent statin-induced symptoms after describing in my Telegraph column the experience of a man in his seventies whose general health following the successful repair of an aortic aneurysm had gradually deteriorated to a state (as he described it) of ‘chronic decrepitude’ — such that when flying to Hawaii to attend his son’s wedding he had required a wheelchair at the various stopovers. Yet returning three weeks later he had walked back through Heathrow — having forgotten to pack the statins he had been taking since his operation. This account of his near-miraculous recovery following his statin-free excursion prompted hundreds of letters and emails from readers describing their’
So increasingly everyone approaching that age, or over it, must ask themselves: should I take statins? Should I accept industry reassurances that the side-effects effects are minimal? What are the alternatives?
Please submit your questions — and discuss among yourselves — below and Dr James and I will respond to them.