Slash heart risk by 50 percent?
The polypill pushers are at it again -- and this time, they say their all-in-one drug can slash the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent.
That's a heckuva claim to make from a study where absolutely NO ONE suffered from heart disease or a stroke.
Yup... this was another one of those theoretical jobs, where they plug in some numbers and expect us to believe it.
Bizarre new claim over all-in-one heart drug
In this case, they at least started out with real people: Researchers gave the polypill -- a single drug that contains a statin, two hypertension meds, and aspirin -- or a placebo to 378 people at clinics around the world.
After 12 weeks, researchers say the patients given the polypill had slight improvements in meaningless biomarkers: blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
How slight? Systolic blood pressure fell from 134 mmHg to 124 mmHg.
Even if you agree that this is a good measure of cardiovascular health (it's not!), both numbers are safely below the levels considered hypertension by the mainstream.
LDL levels fell from the "borderline high" category to "above optimal," and don't even waste your time trying to figure out what that means.
But the researchers say that over the long term, these minute changes will lead to a 50 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack and stroke -- a massive leap of faith that somehow got published in PLoS One.
"Peer review" ain't what it used to be.
But this is exactly the kind of hokum they have to use to make this drug look good -- because when you look at the REAL numbers, there's just nothing there... and that's been the case all along.
Nearly eight years ago, I warned you about a polypill study that supposedly slashed heart risk by a third. That claim was technically true, but it looks a lot less impressive when you read the fine print and see that the absolute risk reduction was just 1.4 percent. (Read the story here.)
And just a few weeks ago, one of the polypill's inventors said his new study found that absolutely everyone over the age of 55 needs to take the drug's main ingredients, statins and BP pills.
But it turned out that wasn't a real study -- just a computer simulation. (Read more here.)
I'd say wake me up when they actually get some real results from this pill... but I'd have to be asleep for a very long time.
About the author
William Campbell Douglass I.I., M.D. has been called "the conscience of modern medicine."
You can sign up for his "Daily Dose" at DouglassReport.com.