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Archive for the ‘diabetes, Type 2’ Category

Taliban’s super success: opium

Posted by Colin Rose on November 28, 2008

If it weren’t for heroin addiction the Taliban would not exist and we would not be fighting a war in Afghanistan. Until we conquer the problem of addiction in our society there will always be criminals, terrorists and drug companies preying on the misery of addicts. Another example: instead of dealing with junk food addiction we would rather spend $many billions on drugs to treat its symptoms. The recent report of the JUPITER trial, funded by AstraZeneca and really an infomercial for Crestor, is a good example. No attempt was made to treat the addiction of the mostly overweight or obese subjects in trial. Only a drug was tested to treat the metabolic manifestations of the addiction, like “dyslipidemia” and CRP. Consequently many of the subjects became diabetic.


Taliban’s super success: opium
KIRK KRAEUTLER NEW YORK TIMES
The Gazette
28 Nov 2008

UNITED NATIONS  Afghanistan has produced so much opium in recent years that the Taliban are cutting back poppy cultivation and stockpiling raw opium to support prices and preserve a major source of financing for the insurgency, says the head of the…read more…

Posted in addiction, diabetes, Type 2, drugs, junk food, obesity, statins | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cardiac disease threatens diabetics

Posted by Colin Rose on November 26, 2008

Dr. Terrence Ruddy, chief of cardiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, says the increasing number of people with diabetes is a major concern across the medical profession.

“The increasing number with diabetes is directly related to the increasing number with obesity,” he says. “We have an epidemic of obesity in young and older people. In older people, that is giving them diabetes now. In younger people, it will give them diabetes in the next 20 to 40 years.” It’s vital to reduce obesity, “not just for 40- to 50-year-olds but in 10 to 20-year-olds,” he says. “We need more money flowing into educational programs focused on lifestyle changes — increased activity, appropriate diet and weight loss in young people. Decrease obesity to decrease diabetes.”

Yet at least 500 cardiologists around the world were paid by AstraZeneca to take part in JUPITER, a clinical “trial” of Crestor in which most subjects were overweight or obese and NO attempt was made to reduce their weights. 1.5% per year became diabetic due to their inflamed excess visceral fat. Probably at least US$500 million flowed into this “trial” with NO “educational programs focused on lifestyle changes”.

Doctors pay lip service to the need to fight obesity but money talks. Those cardiologists probably received at least $1000 per subject to enroll them in the JUPITER “trial”. Why would they dare to insist upon lifestyle change first before enrolling the subject and forgo this income? Members of the “JUPITER Study Group” presumably overseeing the “trial” for AstraZeneca were probably paid $100,000 each for their “consultation”. Why would they insist on lifestyle change first before agreeing to participate?

 


Cardiac disease threatens diabetics
IRIS WINSTON CANWEST NEWS SERVICE
The Gazette
26 Nov 2008

Just one year after Dale Frayling was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he suffered his first heart attack. Four months later, he had a second, more severe attack followed by bypass surgery. That was 11 years ago. The Saskatoon resident, now 57, has…read more…

 

Also blogged here: 1, 2


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Here is the list of the cardiologists paid to participate in the JUPITER study who care more about money than advising patients on the best way to prevent atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Paul M Ridker, M.D., Eleanor Danielson, M.I.A., Francisco A.H. Fonseca, M.D., Jacques Genest, M.D., Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., M.D., John J.P. Kastelein, M.D., Wolfgang Koenig, M.D., Peter Libby, M.D., Alberto J. Lorenzatti, M.D., Jean G. MacFadyen, B.A., Børge G. Nordestgaard, M.D., James Shepherd, M.D., James T. Willerson, M.D., Robert J. Glynn, Sc.D., for the JUPITER Study Group

Appendix. JUPITER Clinical Sites

Argentina 253: Altamirano J, Berrizbeitia M, Boskis P, Colombo H, Cuadrado J, Cuneo
C, Diaz M, Esper R, Fernandez A, Foye R, Hershson A, Kuschnir E, La Greca R,
Lorenzatti A, Lozada A, Luciardi H, Luquez H, Maffei L, Majul C, Marin M, Muntaner
J, Nul D, Paolasso E, Rey R, Rodenas P, Rodriguez P, Rojas C, Telsolin P, Vita N,
Belgium 487: Adrianes G, Argento O, Bacart P, Baeck L, Baguet J, Balthazar Y, Battello
G, Behets J, Beke P, Bemden S, Berwouts P, Boermans P, Bolly F, Borms J, Boulad M,
Boulanger L, Bous J, Boxstael R, Brands Y, Buyse L, Calozet Y, Camps K, Capiau L,
Celis H, Coucke F, D’Argent F, De Beeck G, De Meulemeester M, De Praeter K, De
Rouck S, Delcourt A, Delvaux J, Demanet E, Derijcke M, Deruyck C, Devaux J, Dupont
C, Duyse J, Erpicum L, Gilio C, Gillet A, Grosjean J, Heeren J, Henry G, Heyvaert F,
Hollanders G, Hutsebaut A, Janssens P, Lannoy H, Ledoux C, Legros P, Leliaert R,
Martens R, Maury O, Mehuys G, Michaux J, Migeotte A, Mortelmans J, Mulders N,
Parijs P, Peer W, Pieters E, Reynders P, Riet D, Robert P, Stee J, Teheux J, Teuwen J,
Timmermans B, Tshinkulu M, Vantroyen D, Veevaete M, Vercruysse K, Vereecken G,
Vermeersch L, Vernijns J, Verspecht E, Vinck G, Vrancken F, Watte G, Weymans J,
Windmolders S, Ziekenhuis J, Ziekenhuis P, Brazil 327: Albuquerque D, Barbosa E,
Bertolami M, Blacher C, Brasileiro A, Eliaschewitz F, Esteves J, Feitosa G, Filho H,
Filho R, Fonseca F, Forti A, Francischetti E, Franco R, Gomes M, Gross J, Jardim P,
Kohlmann O, Loures-Vale A, Magalhaes M, Maia L, Moriguchi E, Nogueira P, Oigman W,
Repetto G, Saraiva J, Xavier H, Bulgaria 197: Balanescu S, Benov H, Chompalova B,
Donova T, Gocheva N, Goudev A, Grigorov M, Gruev T, Hergeldjieva V, Marchev S,
Mihov A, Pasheva V, Penev A, Popov A, Raev D, Sirakova V, Slavcheva A, Stoikov A,
Stoilov R, Tisheva S, Todorov G, Torbova S, Uzunangelov J, Canada 2020: Achyutna G,
Akhras R, Arun N, Barriere G, Bartlett J, Behiels S, Bell A, Bergeron J, Berlingieri J,
Bhamjee H, Bodok-Nutzati R, Booth W, Boyd C, Brault S, Bruckswaiger D, Bukovy B,
Campbell G, Carlson B, Cha J, Chehayeb R, Cheng W, Chilvers M, Chouinard G,
Chow W, Conter H, Conway J, Craig D, Dattani I, Del Grande R, Dharamshi S,
Dickson M, Dion D, Dowell A, Drexler J, Dube S, Dupont A, Dworkin B, Fields L,
Filteau P, Gardiner E, Gervais B, Gillis G, Girard R, Goldman H, Gorfinkel I, Goulet S,
Greenspoon A, Gritter R, Gupta A, Gupta M, Habib R, Harding R, Hart R, Henein S,
Henry D, Hirsch A, Ho K, Hoag G, Houde D, Howlett E, Ing G, Jadd J, Janes J, Jardine F,
Johnston T, Kanani S, Kazimirski M, Kelly A, Klajner F, Kooy J, Lalani A, Lam S,
Laranjeiro J, Larose D, Leiter L, Leung W, Li J, Lowe D, Luces K, Ma P, MacKinnon R,
Martinho V, Matangi M, McCrossin M, McIsaac J, McMullen W, Mehta P, Meunier M,
Misik K, Ng A, Nigro F, Noronha L, O’Mahony W, Pandey S, Papp E, Patel V , Patrick L,
Peddle C, Pinsky N, Poirier P, Powell C, Price J, Rolfe A, Saliba N, Sawkiw R, Senior R,
Shu D, Smith R, Somani R, Soowamber M, Stakiw K, Talbot P, Taliano J, Tan K,
Teitelbaum I, Threoux P, Tremblay G, Turcotte C, Tytus R, Walsh P, Webb G,
Willoughby P, Woo V, Woodland R, Yee G, Chile 83: Blanco M, Cardenas N,
Dominguez J, Gutierrez M, Jalaf M, Olivares P, Rodriguez B, Saelezer C, Stockins B,
Colombia 345: Ardila W, Aschner P, Botero J, Botero R, Calderon C, Casas L,
Castellanos R, Chaves A, Cure C, Escobar I, Fortich A, Garcia L, Hernandez E, Isaza D,
Jaramillo N, Kattah W, Marin M, Matiz C, Quintero A, Rizcala A, Rodriguez N, Ruiz A,
Urina M, Valenzuela A, Costa Rica 270: Cob-Sanchez A, Gutreiman-Golberg M,
Lainez-Ventosilla A, Ramirez-Zamoraa L, Slon-Hitti C, Vinocour-Fornieri M, Denmark
336: Hansen H, Nordestgaard B, Steffensen R, Stender S, El Salvador 162: Abrego H,
Renderos J, Rivera-Ochoa L, Estonia 85: Eha J, Jaanson E, Kaasik U, Keba E, Maetos E,
Petersen M, Reinmets S, Roostalu U, Vahula V, Veidrik K, Germany 222: Bellmann R,
Hanefeld M, Horacek T, Klein C, Knels R, Koenig W, Laus S, Meibner G, Mondorf C,
Schell E, Schuster H, Sehnert W, Stahl H, Szelazek G, Winkelmann B, Witczak E, Israel
143: Avishay E, Gavish A, Grossman E, Haratz D, Hussein O, Keider S, Levy Y, Shapiro
I, Shveydel E, Wolfovitz E, Yogev R, Zeltser D, Mexico 741: Escarcega J, Galvez G,
Gonzalez J, Guajardo S, Gutierrez-Fajardo P, Ibara M, Leon J, Lozano F, Munoz E, Pina
J, Romero-Zazueta A, Sanchez R, Takahashi H, Villalpando C, Villegas E, Netherlands
987: Agous I, Bak A, Bartels G, Basart D, Cornel J, De Schipper L, Holwerda N, Kose
V, Koster Y, Lok D, Lokhorst B, Mosterd A, Nierop P, Oude Ophuis A, Somer S, Tiebesl
J, Trip M, Van Hessen M, Van Kempen W, Wassenaar M, Norway 204: Andresen M,
Berz A, Bjurstrom M, Bo P, Brunstad O, Daae-Johansen T, Elle S, Fauske J, Fossdal B,
Gjefsen O, Hallaraker A, Haugen J, Helberg S, Holm-Johnsen S, Istad H, Jacobsen T,
Johansen R, Jorstad T, Jorum I, Kjorlaug K, Kontny F, Langaker K, Larsen B, Lonning
S, Loraas A, Mansilla-Tinoco R, Medhus R, Meyer I, Nasrala S, Ofjord E, Ose L, Palmas
J, Risberg K, Sandberg A, Sirnes P, Skjegstad E, Skjelvan G, Solnor L, Storm-Larsen A,
Tandberg A, Tomala T, Torkelsen A, Ursin A, Valnes K, Walaas K, Panama 202: Binns
R, Delgado A, Lombana B, Noriega L, Trujillo R, Poland 804: Artemiuk E, Asankowicz-
Bargiel B, Banas I, Baranska E, Baranski M, Bijata-Bronisz R, Sikorska A, Blasszczyk B,
Bolanowski J, Brokl-Stolarczyk B, Brzecki K, Buczkowski K, Chmielewski T, Chojnowska-
Jezierska J, Chwist-Nowak A, Cygan W, Czajkowska-Kaczmarek E, Dargiewicz A,
Dluzniewski M, Dudka C, Fares I, Flasinska J, Gadzinski W, Gaszczyk G, Golebiowski G,
Gozdur W, Grudzien K, Kalamarz J, Kalinowska A, Kornacewicz-Jach Z, Korol M,
Korycka W, Kostka T, Kostrzewska A, Kot A, Kowalczyk-Kram M, Kowalska-Werbowy B,
Krupinska G, Lotocka E, Luberda-Heynar Z, Lukas W, Lysek R, Machyna-Dybala A,
Mlynarczyk-Jeremicz K, Mocarska-Gorna B, Niedbal-Yahfouf I, Pasternak D, Potakowska I,
Ramian U, Roleder M, Rosinska-Migda J, Sidorowicz-Bialynicka A, Skierkowska J,
Skorinko I, Slaboszewska J, Sleziak-Barglik K, Sobieska E, Stachlewski P, Superson-Byra E,
Tissler-Nahorska G, Turbak R, Uzunow A, Wasowicz D, Wodniecki J, Wojnowski L,
Wrzol A, Zdrojewska J, Zurakowska-Krzywonos A, Zurowska-Gebala M, Romania 32:
Ablachim T, Abobului M, Bobescu E, Bojinca M, Cristea M, Gaita D, Stoicovici R, Tataru R,
Tudose A, Russia 273: Ardashev V, Arutyunov G, Azarin O, Barbarash O, Bondarev S,
Borisov M, Boyarkin M, Burova N, Chazova I, Dovgalevsky P, Duplyakov D, Egorova L,
Goloshchekin B, Gratsianskiy N, Ivleva A, Karpov R, Karpov Y, Khokhlov A, Khokhlov R,
Khrustalev O, Konyakhin A, Kostenko V, Libov I, Lukyanov Y, Mezentseva N, Panov A,
Repin M, Shabalin A, Shalaev S, Shilkina N, Shulman V, Sidorenko B, Smolenskaya O,
Starodubtsev A, Talibov O, Titkov Y, Tsyba L, Uspenskil Y, Vishnevsky A, Yarokhno N,
South Africa 2497: Ahmed S, Ashtiker H, Bester A, Bhorat Q, Biermann E, Boyd W, Burgess L,
Dindar F, Dulabh R, Engelbrecht I, Erasmus E, Fouche L, Furman S, Govind U, Herbst
L, Jacovides A, Kahanovitz C, Kruger C, Lakha D, Lombaard J, MacLeod A, Makan H,
Manuel E, McDonald M, Mitha E, Mitha I, Moola S, Nell H, Nieuwoudt G, Olivier P,
Padayachee T, Pillai P, Pillay S, Ranjith N, Reyneke S, Routier R, Sandell P, Sebastian P,
Skriker M, Smit J, van Rensburg D, van Zyl L, Vawda Z, Wellman H, Switzerland 15:
Stahl M, United Kindom 2873: Adbulhakim E, Angus M, Balmer F, Balmer J, Barrat R,
Blair D, Blyth A, Brodie R, Brydie D, Campbell C, Campbell I, Church M, Clark C,
Clements R, Donnachie H, Fitpatrick P, Godley C, Hill J, Jarvie F, Kieran W, Langridge S,
Leslie R, Liddell A, MacKenzie J, MacKintosh C, Mair R, Marshall G, Martin R,
McCann C, McKibbin C, McLachlan B, McLean F, Murray S, Norris A, Pawa R, Pexton
N, Ramage A, Reid S, Robertson A, Rourke E, Sarmiento R, Shaw H, Shaw R, Sheil L,
Spence G, Stewart E, Thomas H, Thomson J, Thomson W, Travers J, Ward R, Williams
L, Wooff D, Young W, Uruguay 14: Belzarena C, Huarte A, Kuster F, Lluberas R,
Speranza-Sanchez M, United States 4021: Abarikwu C, Abate L, Abbott R, Ackley C,
Adams G, Adkins S, Albakri E, Albarracin C, Allison J, Alvarado O, Alwine L, Amin K,
Amin M, Anderson J, Anderson M, Anderson W, Andrawis N, Andrews C, Angles L,
Aquino N, Ariani M, Armstrong C, Aronoff S, Arora N, Atri P, Baker J, Baker K, Balli
E, Banish D, Bardenheier J, Barnett G, Bartkowiak A, Basista M, Beliveau W, Bell G,
Benchimol G, Bennett B, Bennett N, Bermudez Y, Bernstein J, Berroya A, Bhargava M,
Biaggioni I, Bimson S, Bittar N, Bleser S, Blumberg M, Bobson C, Boeren J, Bogan R,
Boling E, Booras C, Borge A, Brady J, Brandon D, Bredlau C, Brideau D, Brobyn T,
Brodowski M, Broker R, Broussard C, Brown C, Browning D, Brusco O, Bryant J,
Buchanan P, Bueso G, Burgess G, Burke B, Buynak R, Byrd L, Camilo-Vazquez E,
Campbell J, Cannon L, Capo J, Carmouche D, Castaldo R, Castilleja J, Caudill T, Caulin-
Glaser T, Champlin J, Chardon-Feliciano D, Cheng T, Cherlin R, Cheung D, Chodock A,
Christensen J, Christian D, Christiansen L, Ciemiega R, Clark J, Coble S, Cohen K,
Colan D, Cole F, Cole R, Colleran K, Collins G, Conard S, Cook J, Cooperman M,
Cooze D, Copeland T, Corder C, Courtney D, Cox W, Crump W, Cruz L, Cuellar J,
Cunningham T, Daboul N, Dailey R, Dallas A, Dansinger M, Dao L, Darwin C, Dauber
I, Davidson M, Davis P, Degarmo R, Degoma R, Dempsey M, Denny D, Denyer G,
Desai V, Despot J, Dewan M, Dickert J, Diederich C, Doben S, Dobratz D, Douglas B,
Drehobl M, Dresner J, Dreyfus J, Drummond W, Dunbar W, Dunlap J, Dunmyer S,
Eaton C, Ecker A, Edris M, Egbujiobi L, Elkind A, Ellis J, Ellison H, Engeron E, Erdy G,
Ervin W, Eshowsky S, Estock D, Fang C, Fanning J, Feinberg B, Feld L, Fenton I,
Fernandez E, Ferrera R, Fiacco P, Fierer R, Finneran M, Fintel D, Fischer M, Flippo G,
Flores A, Folkerth S, Forbes R, Fowler R, Francis P, Franco M, Frank A, Fraser N,
Fuchs R, Gabriel J, Gaddam S, Gaffney M, Gamponia M, Gandhi D, Ganzman H, Gaona
R, Gaona R Jr, Garibian G, Garofalo J,, Gatewood R, Gazda S, Geiger R, Geller M,
Germino W, Gibbs R, Gifford C, Gilhooley N, Gill S, Gillespie E, Godwin D, Goldberg
M, Goldberg R, Goldstein M, Gonzalez-Ortiz E, Goodman D, Gordon G, Gordon M,
Goswami A, Gottlieb D, Gottschlich G, Graham D, Gray J, Gray W, Green S, Greenberg
R, Greenspan M, Greenwald M, Grover D, Gupta, R, Gupta-Bala S, Guthrie R, Gutmann
J, Gvora T, Habib G, Hack T, Haidar A, Hamdy O, Hansen M, Hanshaw C, Hargrove J,
Harris H, Harris H, Harrison B, Hart T, Heacock J, Head D, Headley D, Henderson D,
Herman L, Herrera C, Hershberger V, Hershon K, Heym H, Hill G, Hippert R, Hirsch A,
Hnatiuk G, Hoekstra J, Holt W, Homan J, Honsinger R, Howard J, Howard V, Howard
W, Huling R, Imburgia M, Isajiw G, Ison R, Iverson W, Jacks R, Jackson B, Jackson K,
Jacobs J, Jacobson E, James A, Jayanty V, Johary A, Johnson G, Jones P, Jones T, Joseph
J, Julien C, Kahn Z, Kalvaria I, Kang J, Kaplan I, Karns R, Kashi K, Kaster S, Kaufman
A, Kawley F, Keller R, Kenton D, Kerlin J, Kern J, Kerwin E, Kerzner B, Ketchum J,
Khan J, Khan S, Khawar M, Khera A, Kinstrey T, Klein B, Klein E, Klein S, Klein T,
Kleinsteuber K, Klementowicz P, Knopp R, Knutson T, Koch S, Kramer M, Krause R,
Krisciunas V, Krueger C, Kruszewski D, Kumar R, Kunst E, Kuo D, Kuritsky L,
Kushner P, Kutner M, Kwiterovich P, Kwong S, Lanese J, Lang B, Lary J, Lasalle J,
Lasater S, Lasser N, Laughlin D, Lawless J, Lawlor D, Ledbetter J, Ledesma G, Lee D,
Lemanski P, Levinson G, Levinson L, Lewis D, Lewis L, Lewis S, Linden D, Loh I,
Look M, Lopez D, Loskovitz L, Lubin B, Lucas M, MacAdams M, Madden B, Magee P,
Maggiacomo F, Magier D, Magnuson S, Mahaffey R, Makowski D, Maletz L, Mally A,
Maloney R, Mancha V, Manolukas P, Marple R, Martin R, Masri A, Masri B, Mattingly
G, Mayer N, McCain A, McCall Bundy J, Mccartney M, Mcclain D, McConn M,
Mccullum K, Mcdavid R, Mcgettigan J, McIvor M, Mcneff J, Mendolla M, Mercado A,
Mersey J, Milam J, Milko T, Miller M, Miller R, Miller S, Mobley D, Modi T, Modiano
M, Mollen M, Montgomery R, Moran J, Morelli J, Morin D, Moskow H, Moursi M,
Mueller N, Mullins M, Myers E, Nadar V, Naiser J, Nash S, Natarajan S, Neft M,
Neuman D, Nevins B, Newman J, Newman R, Newman S, Nolen T, Nwasuruba C,
Oberoi M, Odom A, Ong Y, Oppy J, Owen S, Pampe E, Pangtay D, Parker R, Patel B,
Patel J, Patel M, Patel R, Paul A, Pearlstein R, Penepent P, Peniston J, Perlman M,
Persson D, Peters P, Peterson G, Peterson J, Pettyjohn F, Phillips A, Phillips D, Piel M,
Pillai T, Pi-Sunyer F, Pollack A, Pond M, Pongonis J, Porras C, Portnoy E, Potos W,
Powers J, Prasad J, Pritchett K, Pudi K, Pullman J, Purdy A, Quinones Y, Raad G,
Radbill M, Radin D, Rai K, Raikhel M, Raine C, Ramanujan R, Ramirez G, Ramos-
Santana Z, Rapo S, Ravin S, Rawtani P, Reeves R, Reeves W, Reiter W, Rendell M,
Resnick H, Reynolds W, Rhudy J, Rice L, Rictor K, Ringrose R, Riser J, Rizvi M, Rizzo
W, Robinson J, Robison W, Rogers W, Rohlf J, Rosen R, Ross, E, Roth E, Rovner S,
Rucki P, Runde M, Ryan W, Rybicki J, Saleem T, Salvato P, Santram D, Scharf B,
Schear M, Schectman G, Schmidt J, Schneider A, Schneider P, Schneider R,
Schoenfelder S, Schussheim A, Schwartz R, Schwartz S, Schwarze M, Scott C, Segal S,
Settipane R, Shah M, Shamim T, Shanes J, Shapero P, Shapiro J, Shealy N, Shepard M,
Shepherd A, Sheta M, Shrivastava R, Shusman R, Siddiqi M, Sidney A, Silvers D,
Simek C, Simpson C, Sinatra L, Singh S, Singson D, Slabic S, Smith D, Smith K, Smith
S, Smith T, Snell P, Specter J, Speer J, Spees R, Sperling M, Spuhler W, Staab P,
Stafford J, Stanton D, Stein E, Stern S, Stocks T, Stone A, Strader W, Strout C, Strzinek
R, Subich D, Suen J, Sugimoto D, Sulman S, Suresh D, Sweeney G, Szatkowski A, Szeto
J, Szewczak S, Szulawski I, Taber L, Taghizadeh B, Tague R, Tambunan D, Tannoury G,
Tavarez Valle J, Thieneman A, Thigpen D, Thompson P, Tidman R, Tilton G, Tokatlian
E, Topkis R, Torelli M, Tortorice F, Toth P, Touger M, Treat S, Trevino M, Trupin S,
Turner A, Turner M, Tweel C, Ugarte J, Ulmer E, Urbach D, Vacker M, Vallecillo J, van
de Beek M, Vargas L, Vazquez Tanus J, Verma, A, Vijayaraghavan K, Wade P, Wade T,
Wagner S, Wahle J, Walker J, Walker M, Weinstein R, Weisbrot A, Weiss R, West P,
White A, Wickemeyer W, Wieskopf B, Wiggins M, Williams H, Wilson M, Wiseman J,
Yataco A, Yates S, Zamarra J, Zamora B, Zawada E, Zemel L, Zigrang W, Zusman R,
Venezuela 209: Aguiton M, Arroyo-Parejo M, Beaujon Sierralta J, Carrizales de Marlin
Y, Colan Parraga J, Fernandez C, Fuenmayor N, Giesen G, Gonzalez Gomez C, Guaipo
A, Herrera Rivera C, Lopez de Montoreano N, Lopez Nouel R, Marturet L, Marulanda
M, Mata L, Morr I, Nass A, Palmucci G, Ponte C, Rivas I, de Roa E, Figarella Salazar G,
Sanchez F, Sirit U, Viloria A.

Posted in atherosclerosis, cardiology, cholesterol, coronary artery disease, diabetes, diabetes, Type 2, diet, drugs, junk food, obesity, professionalism, statins | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

JUPITER is a gas giant

Posted by Colin Rose on November 21, 2008

An excellent article by André Picard in today’s Globe and Mail, the only story on JUPITER I have seen in the lay press that reveals the massive fraud behind the reporting of this “study”.

JUPITER is aptly named. It’s gigantic. Probably the largest, most expensive drug trial in history. When one looks below the surface of the publication in the NEJM, the results are about as exciting as the Jovian composition. A lot of gas. I would conservatively estimate that this “study” cost at least $500 million. But if you are AstraZeneca and stand to sell $many billions worth of Crestor because of this paper that’s small change. And junk food addicts, who comprise most of the subjects of JUPITER have one more excuse, however deceptive, to continue their self-destructive habits.

Here is my opinion posted in the NEJM blog on the paper.

nyt-jupiter-unethical

A more detailed analysis of the marketing driven deception and lack of professionalism in the paper by Sandy Szwarc.

Another perspective by John McDougall similar to mine on the big lie behind the claim that many “healthy” people need Crestor..

When all of these criticisms are considered it turns out that JUPITER is nothing more than a thinly disguised  infomercial for Crestor and should never have been published in a presumably high quality journal like the NEJM. But in being able to make this paper freely available on the web (and not wait 6 months like other papers) the NEJM must have received a large payment from AstraZeneca.

Non-blinded statin trials like JUPITER, have the potential for bias in subjective outcomes like the decision to do an angioplasty or coronary bypass, outcomes that constitute the vast majority of the combined endpoint. Also, it is quite likely that when the JUPITER subjects knew that their blood LDL was low because they were taking Crestor they had less incentive to change self-destructive lifestyles. That is probably why the group treated with Crestor had significantly more diabetes. In light of the JUPITER trial the Therapeutics Initiatives group at the University of British Columbia has updated their recommendations for use of statins in primary prevention, which would include people like those entered into the JUPITER trial, and concluded that “statins do not have a proven net health benefit in primary prevention populations and thus when used in that setting do not represent good use of scarce health care resources.

See a slide show on JUPITER and “dyslipidemia”.

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Lead “investigators” of JUPITER

Paul M Ridker, M.D., Eleanor Danielson, M.I.A., Francisco A.H. Fonseca, M.D., Jacques Genest, M.D., Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., M.D., John J.P. Kastelein, M.D., Wolfgang Koenig, M.D., Peter Libby, M.D., Alberto J. Lorenzatti, M.D., Jean G. MacFadyen, B.A., Børge G. Nordestgaard, M.D., James Shepherd, M.D., James T. Willerson, M.D., Robert J. Glynn, Sc.D., for the JUPITER Study Group

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Dominican Republic

What typical JUPITER subjects would look like. These are "apparently healthy" people? Is it not unethical to prescribe drugs to these people to "treat" the symptoms of their self-destructive lifestyles?

Nowhere in the JUPITER paper will you see it mentioned that CRP can be markedly reduced with cost-free lifestyle change alone, no statins, as shown in this paper in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 2006, results of which are summarized below. The subjects in the JAP paper were just the same as in the JUPITER study, obese people, many with metabolic syndrome but the authors did not call them “apparently healthy”. They had nothing to sell.

jap-diet-crp

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When it comes to statins, don’t believe the hype

November 20, 2008
The Globe and Mail
André Picard”Cholesterol drug causes risk of heart attack to plummet” – Fox News.

“Cholesterol-fighting drugs show wider benefit” – The New York Times.

“Cholesterol drug cuts heart risk in healthy patients” – The Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times article summarized the exciting news in a front-page story saying that “millions more people could benefit from taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins.”

That’s big medical/business news, because statins are already the bestselling drugs in the world, with sales in excess of $20-billion (U.S.).

Quoting some of the world’s top heart researchers, media reports touted the importance of a blood test for C-reactive protein. That’s because those benefiting from statins had high levels of CRP (a marker for inflammation) rather than high levels of LDL cholesterol, which is usually the criterion for statin prescription.

The news stories were based on research published last week in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine and presented, with much fanfare, at the annual convention of the American Heart Association.

Like much reporting on medical research (and drug research in particular), however, there is more (or, more accurately, less) to these stories than meets the eye.

The principal finding in this study was that participants who took a statin pill recorded a 50-per-cent reduction in the risk of heart attack, stroke, surgery and death compared with those who took a placebo (a sugar pill).

Who wouldn’t be wowed by those numbers? Who wouldn’t want that miracle drug?

But the benefits are relative risk reductions.

When you look at the raw data in the study, they reveal that 0.9 per cent of statin users had cardiovascular problems. By comparison, 1.8 per cent of those taking a placebo had heart problems.

There were 17,802 participants in the study, yet there were only 83 cardiac events among statin users, compared with 157 in the placebo group. That’s 50 per cent fewer.

Are those really “dramatic” findings? Do statins really make heart attack risk “plummet”?

According to a cautionary editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine (which received virtually no mention in news reports), 120 people in this study needed to be treated with a statin for two years to see a benefit in one person.

That’s a lot of people taking a pricey drug ($3 Canadian a day) for no benefit – not to mention that there are risks.

While researchers (and journalists who report on studies) love to highlight benefits of drugs, they too often gloss over risks.

Like all drugs, statins have side effects. The drug used in the study, rosuvastatin (brand name Crestor), has been associated with muscle deterioration and kidney problems.

In the study, those taking statins had a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes – 3 per cent compared with 2.4 per cent of those taking a placebo. That’s a 25 per cent higher relative risk among people with very little heart disease to begin with.

As noted earlier, researchers (and news stories) suggested that, based on the findings, the number of patients taking statins could and should expand dramatically.

But is that really what the research tells us, even in its most optimistic interpretation?

The study involved exclusively men older than 50 and women older than 60 who did not have high cholesterol or histories of heart disease or inflammatory illness. All the people in the study needed to have low cholesterol and high CRP.

Initially, researchers recruited 90,000 people in those age groups, but more than 80 per cent of them were deemed ineligible. This is a very select population.

To say, by extrapolation, that these “dramatic” (read: modest) benefits apply to the general population is erroneous.

Similarly, while it is true that about half of all heart attacks and strokes occur in people whose cholesterol is not considered high, does that mean everyone should get a blood test to measure levels of C-reactive protein? Hardly.

Yes, there is more heart disease among people with high levels of CRP, but the jury is still out on what this means.

Some scientists believe that because CRP – secreted in response to inflammation – is present in plaque, it increases the risk that the plaque will burst, leading to blood clots that cause heart attacks. But other researchers think that CRP levels are, at best, a telltale sign of heart disease, a bit like grey hairs are a sign of aging – not its cause.

The CRP test is expensive at almost $50. And it’s worth noting that one of the principal authors of the new research holds the patent on the test and makes money every time it is used.

When you cut through all the hype and the self-interest, what we know is this: Statins reduce levels of [LDL] cholesterol. This is beneficial to people who have had a heart attack or other serious heart problems.

But for otherwise healthy people, high CRP levels or not, the potential benefits of taking statins are marginal, and the risks are not insignificant.

Hardly the stuff of dramatic newspaper headlines.

Posted in atherosclerosis, cardiology, cholesterol, coronary artery disease, death, diabetes, diabetes, Type 2, drugs, junk food, obesity, professionalism, statins, waist circumference | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Disaster! Americans stop taking Lipitor.

Posted by Colin Rose on November 19, 2008

Well, I predicted many years ago that the exorbitant cost of drugs for lifestyle diseases would at some point destroy the cherished American ideal of unlimited consumption. It has happened a lot sooner than even I thought. The same attitude that powered the myth of free money and endless consumption of houses and goods is responsible for the myth of harmless gluttony while taking pills for “cholesterol”, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes, all, to a large extent, diseases of lifestyle.  Most of these drugs have never been shown to prolong life in the general population and should never have been prescribed in the first place. The same thing happens in Canada. I just saw a patient with normal blood sugar and normal “cholesterol” who was prescribed metformin and Lipitor “just in case”.

The profligate American lifestyle is undergoing a profound change. In the financial crunch It has finally dawned on a lot of people that they really don’t need those “cholesterol” pills, that they might be much better off if they just changed some of their greedy habits. In most cases it is not a choice between “meals and medication”. Less meals = less medication. Most Americans are eating far too much anyway.

Two-thirds of the US population is now overweight or obese, all “high risk” people on multiple drugs for treating the symptoms of inflammatory excess visceral fat. I predict we will witness a stabilization of amelioration of the pandemic of obesity and a marked drop in the costs of treating it’s complications, now about $75 billion per year in the US. It will be discovered anew that obesity is not genetic and one really doesn’t need a “gastric bypass” to lose weight. All you have to do is eat less.

You read it here first. Nothing like a financial collapse to cure gluttony.

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From the New York Times

nyt-drugs-financialcrisis

By STEPHANIE SAUL
Published: October 21, 2008

For the first time in at least a decade, the nation’s consumers are trying to get by on fewer prescription drugs.

As people around the country respond to financial and economic hard times by juggling the cost of necessities like groceries and housing, drugs are sometimes having to wait.

“People are having to choose between gas, meals and medication,” said Dr. James King, the chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a national professional group. He also runs his own family practice in rural Selmer, Tenn.

“I’ve seen patients today who said they stopped taking their Lipitor, their cholesterol-lowering medicine, because they can’t afford it,” Dr. King said one recent morning.

“I have patients who have stopped taking their osteoporosis medication.”

On Tuesday, the drug giant Pfizer, which makes Lipitor, the world’s top-selling prescription medicine, said United States sales of that drug were down 13 percent in the third quarter of this year.

Through August of this year, the number of all prescriptions dispensed in the United States was lower than in the first eight months of last year, according to a recent analysis of data from IMS Health, a research firm that tracks prescriptions.

Although other forces are also in play, like safety concerns over some previously popular drugs and the transition of some prescription medications to over-the-counter sales, many doctors and other experts say consumer belt-tightening is a big factor in the prescription downturn.

The trend, if it continues, could have potentially profound implications.

If enough people try to save money by forgoing drugs, controllable conditions could escalate into major medical problems. That could eventually raise the nation’s total health care bill and lower the nation’s standard of living.

Martin Schwarzenberger, a 56-year-old accounting manager for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, is stretching out his prescriptions. Mr. Schwarzenberger, who has Type 1 diabetes, is not cutting his insulin, but has started scrimping on a variety of other medications he takes, including Lipitor.

“Don’t tell my wife, but if I have 30 days’ worth of pills, I’ll usually stretch those out to 35 or 40 days,” he said. “You’re trying to keep a house over your head and use your money to pay all your bills.”

Although the overall decline in prescriptions in the IMS Health data was less than 1 percent, it was the first downturn after more than a decade of steady increases in prescriptions, as new drugs came on the market and the population aged.

From 1997 to 2007, the number of prescriptions filled had increased 72 percent, to 3.8 billion last year. In the same period, the average number of prescriptions filled by each person in this country increased from 8.9 a year in 1997 to 12.6 in 2007.

Dr. Timothy Anderson, a Sanford C. Bernstein & Company pharmaceutical analyst who analyzed the IMS data and first reported the prescription downturn last week, said the declining volume was “most likely tied to a worsening economic environment.”

In some cases, the cutbacks might not hurt, according to Gerard F. Anderson, a health policy expert at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “A lot of people think there there’s probably over-prescribing in the United States,” Mr. Anderson said.

But for other patients, he said, “the prescription drug is a lifesaver, and they really can’t afford to stop it.”

Dr. Thomas J. Weida, a family physician in Hershey, Pa., said one of his patients ended up in the hospital because he was unable to afford insulin.

Not everyone simply stops taking their drugs.

“They’ll split pills, take their pills every other day, do a lot of things without conferring with their doctors,” said Jack Hoadley, a health policy analyst at Georgetown University.

“We’ve had focus groups with various populations,” Mr. Hoadley said. “They’ll look at four or five prescriptions and say, ‘This is the one I can do without.’ They’re not going to stop their pain medication because they’ll feel bad if they don’t take that. They’ll stop their statin for cholesterol because they don’t feel any different whether they take that or not.”

Overall spending in the United States for prescription drugs is still the highest in the world, an estimated $286.5 billion last year. But that number makes up only about 10 percent of this country’s total health expenditures of $2.26 trillion.

Pharmaceutical companies have long been among those arguing that drugs are a cost-effective way to stave off other, higher medical costs.

The recent prescription cutbacks come even as the drug industry was already heading toward the “generic cliff,” as it is known — an approaching period when a number of blockbuster drugs are scheduled to lose patent protection. That will be 2011 for Lipitor.

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Already, a migration to generic drugs means that 60 percent of prescriptions over all are filled by off-brand versions of drugs. But with money tight, even cheaper generic drugs may not always be affordable drugs.

Factors other than the economy that may also be at play in the prescription downturn include adverse publicity about some big-selling medications — like the cholesterol medications Zetia and Vytorin, marketed jointly by Merck and Schering-Plough. And sales of Zyrtec, a popular allergy medication, moved out of the prescription category earlier this year when Johnson & Johnson began selling it as an over-the-counter medication.

Diane M. Conmy, the director of market insights for IMS Health, said the drop in prescriptions might also be partly related to the higher out-of-pocket drug co-payments that insurers are asking consumers to pay.

“Some consumers are making decisions based on the fact that they are bearing more of the cost of medicines than they have in the past,” Ms. Conmy said.

The average co-payment for drugs on insurers’ “preferred” lists rose to $25 in 2007, from $15 in 2000, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health care research organization. And, of course, lots of people have no drug insurance at all. That includes the estimated 47 million people in the United States with no form of health coverage, but it is also true for some people who have medical insurance that does not include drug coverage — a number for which no good data may exist.

For older Americans, the addition of Medicare drug coverage in 2006 through the Part D program has meant that 90 percent of Medicare-age people now have drug insurance. And in the early going, Part D had helped stimulate growth in the nation’s overall number of prescriptions, as patients who previously had no coverage flocked to Part D.

But a potential coverage gap in each recipient’s benefit each year — the so-called Part D doughnut hole — means that many Medicare patients are without coverage for part of the year.

The recent IMS Health figures reveal that prescription volume declined in June, in July and again in August, mirroring studies from last year suggesting that prescription use begins dropping at about the time more Medicare beneficiaries begin entering the doughnut hole.

Under this year’s rules, the doughnut hole opens when a patient’s total drug costs have reached $2,510, which counts the portion paid by Medicare as well as the patient’s own out-of-pocket deductibles and co-payments.

The beneficiary must then absorb 100 percent of the costs for the next $3,216, until total drug costs for the year have reached $5,726, when Medicare coverage resumes.

Gloria Wofford, 76, of Pittsburgh, said she recently stopped taking Provigil, prescribed for her problem of falling asleep during the day, because she could no longer afford it after she entered the Medicare doughnut hole.

Her Provigil had been costing $1,695 every three months. “I have no idea who could do it,” she said. “There’s no way I could handle that.”

Without the medication, Ms. Wofford said, she falls asleep while sitting at her computer during the day but then cannot sleep during the night. Because she feels she has no choice, Ms. Wofford is paying out of pocket to continue taking an expensive diabetes medication that costs more than $500 every three months.

For some other people, the boundaries of when and where to cut back are less distinct.

Lori Stewart of Champaign, Ill., is trying to decide whether to discontinue her mother’s Alzheimer’s medications, which seem to have only marginal benefit.

“The medication is $182 a month,” said Ms. Stewart, who recently wrote about the dilemma on her personal blog.

“It’s been a very agonizing decision for me. It is literally one-fifth of her income.”

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Disastrous Epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Posted by Colin Rose on November 7, 2008

Many more children on medication, study says

‘Surprising’ rise targets diabetes, other obesity-related diseases

November 3, 2008

Baltimore Sun

Hundreds of thousands more children are taking medications for chronic diseases, with a huge spike over a four-year period in the number given drugs to treat conditions once seen primarily in adults and now linked to what has become an epidemic of childhood obesity.

In a study appearing today in the journal Pediatrics, researchers saw surges in the number of U.S. children taking prescription medicines for diabetes and asthma, with smaller increases in those taking drugs for high blood pressure or high cholesterol. All of those conditions, to varying degrees, have been associated with obesity.

Though doctors have been seeing the trend in their practices, “the rate of rise is what’s surprising,” said Dr. Donna R. Halloran, a pediatrician at St. Louis University in Missouri and one of the study’s authors.

The study found a doubling in the number of children taking medication for type 2 diabetes, with the largest increases seen among pre-teen and teenage girls. The number of asthma prescriptions was up nearly 47 percent.

The findings come from a study of 3 million privately insured children that was designed to be a nationally representative sample. The researchers used the sample to measure increases from 2002 to 2005 in the number of children taking various medicines but did not estimate how many youngsters nationally were on the medications.

There is nothing inherently wrong with giving medication to children with chronic diseases, doctors say, especially when the drugs are shown to be safe and effective. The increase in children receiving asthma medication appears to be partly because more children have asthma, but also because new guidelines recommend using medication in more cases.

The use of cholesterol medication for children appears to have become more accepted as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended last summer the use of statins to lower cholesterol in children as young as 8.

Meanwhile, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the number of children with type 2 diabetes is on the rise, but officials do not have estimates for how much. Type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes, begins when the body develops resistance to insulin and can no longer use it properly. Eventually, the body can no longer produce sufficient amounts of insulin to regulate blood sugar.

Still, there is an increasing unease in some circles that doctors are prescribing medication without exhausting nonpharmacological options.

“There are concerns that we’re moving too quickly to drug therapy,” said Emily R. Cox, a researcher at Express Scripts, a St. Louis-based pharmacy benefits management company, and lead author of the study. “We don’t know that drug therapy is best for some of these conditions.”

Cox and her colleagues looked at the rates of medication among children ages 5 to 19. They did not look at all medication use, but focused on drugs for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, asthma, depression and attention-deficit disorders.

Since the study used figures from commercial insurance providers, it did not include the uninsured or those covered by programs for low-income children. Other studies have shown that the urban poor have some of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the United States.

According to the study, antidepressant use was essentially flat, though the numbers have gone down significantly among children under 10. Attention-deficit medication, the proper use of which has long been debated, rose 40 percent, with the largest increase among girls taking medicine for a set of disorders traditionally seen more in boys.

In raw numbers, the number of children on diabetes medication is relatively small, but the findings included one of the more surprising trends, a large number of girls on the drugs. The number of girls ages 10 to 14 on the medication rose 166 percent, and the figure for those ages 15 to 19 rose 133 percent.

One expert said those numbers cannot by accounted for by rises in child diabetes or by a secondary use of one of the drugs, metformin, to treat polycystic ovary syndrome.

“It’s definitely not due to a doubling of type 2 diabetes in children, because type 2 diabetes has not doubled in children and we have data on that,” said Dr. Silva Arslanian, an endocrinologist at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the study.

She said overweight children regularly come into the hospital’s Weight Management and Wellness Center on metformin, having been told that they have diabetes, but tests of their blood sugar turn out normal. Arslanian said she believes that some doctors are using metformin, which can lead to appetite loss, as a diet pill – an “inappropriate” use.

“Management of obesity is very frustrating,” she said. “We talk about lifestyle changes, but how many of us are successful in changing lifestyle when the environment is so toxic? When you give somebody a medication, the psychology of the patient is, ‘The medication is doing the job, so I don’t need to change the way I’m eating or moving or drinking.'”

Dr. Debra R. Counts, head of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said she does not think that diabetes drugs are being improperly prescribed. She said more children are taking diabetes medication because more children have diabetes. And even though more boys are becoming obese than girls, she said, studies show that girls are more likely to develop diabetes.

“Most pediatricians try not to prescribe medication unless it’s indicated,” she said.

Another reason that more children are being given medications could be that more drugs have been approved for pediatric use in recent years. In the past, doctors in some cases had prescribed the drugs anyway, but many feel more confident now, knowing that proper studies have been done in children.

Medication is not by itself a solution in many cases, especially when it comes to diseases like type 2 diabetes and hypertension, which are most closely linked to obesity, doctors said. Lifestyle changes have to begin as early as possible, Counts said, sometimes even in toddler years.

She noted recent recommendations that overweight 1-year-olds be given low-fat milk as opposed to whole milk. Doctors used to believe that babies needed the fat in whole milk for their brains to properly develop and recommended whole milk until a child’s second birthday.

“We get a lot of kids referred to us. The problem is, we have no magic,” Counts said. “The whole family needs to eat healthier and get more active and turn off the TV. … By the time people are teenagers, it’s hard to change them.”

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Rate of increase in Type 2 Diabetes in UK doubles in one year

Posted by Colin Rose on October 24, 2008

Has anyone considered the possibility that this disaster might be because the UK is the only developed country to have made statins non-prescription drugs? This is truly a revenge of unintended consequences. Just take your statin and eat anything. Result? An epidemic of obesity whose consequences are as bad or worse than the disease the statins were supposed to prevent.

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From The Independent

Diabetes may cause first fall in life expectancy for 200 years

By Jeremy Laurance, health editor
Monday, 20 October 2008

Britain is in the grip of a diabetes epidemic that threatens to overwhelm the NHS and could lead to the first fall in life expectancy in 200 years. The number of cases diagnosed has doubled in a year, figures out today will show. Family doctors recorded an extra 167,000 sufferers last year, compared with a rise of 83,000 in 2006-7.

The increase brings to almost 2.5 million the number of British diabetics. A further 500,000 people are thought to be affected but unaware of their condition. The condition shortens lives by 10 years and is a leading cause of circulatory problems and blindness.

The soaring rate of diabetes is driven by rising obesity. Today’s figures from Diabetes UK show five million people are registered as obese by their GPs, up from 4.8 million in 2006-07. At least a million more Britons are predicted to succumb to diabetes by 2010.

Professor Sir George Alberti, a Government adviser and former head of the International Diabetes Federation, said the accelerating increase was partly due to improved screening but also to a genuine rise in cases.

“It is a clarion call for society to take this seriously,” he added. “The catastrophe has started to happen. The Government has begun to tackle obesity and inactivity but converting good words into action is very difficult. It will take ages to have an effect.”

The World Health Organisation has predicted that deaths from diabetes in Britain would rise from 33,000 a year in 2005 to 41,000 by 2015 but Professor Alberti said that figure underestimated its true impact. More than 80 per cent of sufferers die from heart attacks or strokes and more than 1,000 a year suffer kidney failure requiring dialysis.

“The WHO figure [for deaths] was very conservative,” he said. “Large numbers die from heart disease and strokes [linked with diabetes] and they do not include those.”

Diabetes is spreading around the world, fuelled by increasing urbanisation and the spread of Western lifestyles. It is estimated to have killed 2.9 million people in 2000, equivalent to the number of Aids deaths, although it has received a fraction of the attention. From 170 million people affected in 2000, doctors predict the total will rise to 370 million by 2025, leading to an epidemic of blindness and amputations.

Researchers have warned that the increase in diabetes and other chronic diseases driven by rising obesity could lead to a fall in general life expectancy. Writing in the New England Journal Of Medicine in 2004, Jay Olshansky and colleagues at the University of Illinois said life expectancy could be cut by five years in the coming decades if obesity continued to increase. Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “These are truly alarming figures. Part of why we have seen such a huge increase can be attributed to improved screening from healthcare services and greater awareness amongst those at high risk of type 2 diabetes. However, there is no getting away from the fact that this large increase is linked to the obesity crisis.

“Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK. It causes heart disease, stroke, amputations, kidney failure and blindness and more deaths than breast and prostate cancer combined. The NHS already spends £1m an hour on diabetes. The soaring diabetes prevalence will continue to put a massive strain on an already struggling NHS and, unless it can respond, people’s health could spiral downwards. We need to do all we can to raise awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and help people understand how a healthy lifestyle can help reduce their risk.”

Diabetes is a disorder in the metabolism of carbohydrate, leading to excessive thirst and the production of large amounts of urine caused by lack of insulin. Nine out of 10 sufferers have Type 2 diabetes, which usually affects older people but is now seen in younger people and children as weight has risen. The risk is 10 times higher in those who are obese, defined as having a body-mass index of more than 30.

Diabetes: The risks, the costs

*The condition causes blood-sugar levels to rise because of a lack of insulin. The risk is 10 times higher in people who are obese.

*Raised sugar levels lead to high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney damage and ulceration of the feet.

*It costs the NHS £1m an hour to treat. One pound in every £10 spent on the hospital service is for diabetes and its complications.

*Type 2 diabetes can be treated by diet and exercise and the effects are reversible if the damage has not gone too far.

*In more severe cases, drug treatment with tablets or injections of insulin is necessary.

*For up to 10 years, there are no symptoms, but doctors believe that the earlier that treatment begins, the less damage it causes.

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Pfizer abandons “cholesterol”

Posted by Colin Rose on October 1, 2008

After spending tens of $billions in DTC ads and bribes to doctors to terrorize the world into believing that blood “bad cholesterol” is the cause of atherosclerosis, the most common fatal disease, and selling hundreds of $billions worth of Lipitor to lower it, Pfizer has admitted there is no truth to and no more profit to be made from the myth of “dyslipidemia” that Pfizer and other peddlers of statin drugs created. Its much hyped drug, torceptripib, touted as the next Lipitor, which did all the “right” things to blood cholesterol actually worsened atherosclerosis in the ILLUSTRATE trial. Finally, the proof was in that high blood “bad cholesterol” is only a symptom of an atherogenic lifestyle, not the cause of atherosclerosis. But it will take a generation or two for the cholesterol myth to disappear.

So now Pfizer is directing more of its research toward Type 2 diabetes, a disease directly related to obesity, which is directly related to the moral hazard effect created by the cholesterol myth (I can eat anything as long as my cholesterol is low). Very clever marketing! Create diseases, real or imagined, then sell high profit drugs to to “treat” numbers associated with them.


PFIZER REFOCUSES ITS STRATEGY
BY SHANNON PETTYPIECE Bloomberg News
National Post
01 Oct 2008

Pfizer Inc. will abandon early-stage research on heart drugs as part of a strategy to sharpen its focus on ailments such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes where the chances of a bigger profit are greatest. The New York-based company, the…read more…

Posted in atherosclerosis, cholesterol, coronary artery disease, diabetes, Type 2, drugs, obesity, statins | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Drug Marketing by Acronym. ACCORD and the Power of Myth

Posted by Colin Rose on July 14, 2008

CHRISTMAS, COURAGE, DIAMOND, DREAM, ILLUMINATE, ILLUSTRATE, REACH, PARAGON, PRAISE, PREVENT, ONTARGET, PROVE IT, ENHANCE, ACT, BEST, ADVANCE, HOPE, LIFE, PROSPER, CALIPSO, ASTEROID, ACCORD, CASHMERE, MIRACL, SYMPHONY, all names of recent drug studies that are carefully constructed pseudo acronyms invented by highly-paid marketers, implying that the drug studied has wonderful properties to prolong your life make it much more pleasant and worry-free. The marketers have learned that the name of the trial is more important than the results of the trial. Who would be attracted to older trials named WOSCOPS or LRC-CPPT? Would it really matter what the results of DREAM were? The acronyms imply that regardless of the result of the study the drug must be good for something. If one fiddles the statistics one can always find a sub-group in which the drug had some effect. You will never see a drug trials with the acronyms, DISEASE or DEATH but many of them do result in more of either of both.

To take one example, just the association of a drug with a trial like ACCORD (Action to COntrol Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) will give it cachet. But the results of the drug “action” in ACCORD was that  adding more expensive drugs to the usual cocktail to markedly lower blood glucose to an arbitrary “target” in type 2 diabetics with known vascular disease caused more deaths than not meeting the “target”. The latest expensive drugs for DM2 were supplied by the usual suspects: Abbot Laboratories, Amylin, AstraZeneca, Bayer Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline, King Pharmaceuticals, Merck, Novartis, Sanofi-Avenis, Schering-Plough. Seven of the lead authors have received drug money from multiple companies. But will the results of this study made a dent in the sales of the latest heavily-marketed, expensive drugs like Diamicron, Prandase (Precose), Amaryl, Avandia (Actos), and Byetta? Not likely. As an apologist for the drug industry who receives money from Amylin and Merck, stated in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, this study “…[does] not provide a definitive answer to the problem of glycemic control and cardiovascular disease. Other ongoing clinical trials will provide additional clarification.” More dead people when taking more drugs is not clear? One of the studies we are to await is, wait for it, ORIGIN. Reminds one of the Garden of Eden. So, the myth of the necessity to “normalize” symptoms or metabolic self-abuse that might even be protective will persist and these unproven drugs will continue to be prescribed for many more years costing the medical systems of the world many $billions and making huge profits for their makers, in spite of the total absence of proof that anyone is better off or living longer swallowing these drugs.

Legal Addictions

The ACCORD-type subject

These drugs were approved for sale purely on basis of their ability to lower blood glucose, a symptom of a self-abusive, atherogenic lifestyle. Look at the baseline characteristics of participants in ACCORD. Average BMI was 32. Obese is defined as BMI greater than 30. So almost all participants were obese. Is it not unethical to perform a drug study in such a group before they have all reduced their BMIs to under 25? Normalizing their weights, by far the most important “action”, would probably cure the diabetes in many of them and they wouldn’t even be in a study on diabetes. But one cannot sell drugs to healthy people. So why would any investigator receiving money from drug dealers insist that people with self-abusive lifestyles change their lifestyles before doing a drug trial? After all, no investigator wants to risk dying of old age before he or she can collect enough “events” (i.e. deaths) to write a paper whatever the conclusion might be.

Results from ACCORD. More deaths on “intensive” (more expensive drugs) therapy

Drs Krumholz and Lee, both with no ties to drug dealers write in a Perspective article in the same issue of the NEJM. “Clearly the way in which risk factors [blood cholesterol, blood glucose, high blood pressure] are modified does matter. Lifestyle interventions may [sic] have few risks, but we cannot assume the same for drugs…”  “…ultimately we need to understand a strategy’s effects on people, not just on surrogate end points.” But even they refuse to recognize the absolute need for lifestyle change before starting drugs in patients with diseases of lifestyle. What risks could lifestyle change possibly have?

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