Driving my daughter Devyn to the airport yesterday morning at 5:30 (she’s off to a summer-school program in Florence) I was stunned by what I was hearing on my radio. Apparently, the American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending much more aggressive cholesterol screening for children and urging that kids as young as eight be given statin drugs and/or other anti-cholesterol meds to fend off potential heart disease later in life. Clearly, this is a last-ditch attempt to somehow get control over an increasing problem with childhood obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol issues. What happened to dispensing advice on exercise and healthy eating? Just doesn’t pay enough? On the other hand, in their defense, something tells me they still know very little about either, hence the drugs.
Of course, if you are a regular reader here, you know that the cholesterol-heart disease connection is tenuous at best. The fat-cholesterol-heart disease connection is even more ridiculous when you understand the lead roles of glucose, insulin and inflammation in atherosclerosis. Unfortunately, we seem to have reached a critical mass (mass hysteria?) among physicians drinking the Kool-Aid dispensed by Big Pharma.
Gotta love this line from the New York Times piece: “Dr. Bhatia said that although there was not “a whole lot” of data on pediatric use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, recent research showed that the drugs were generally safe for children.” Hey, Doc, there is zero evidence to show that giving statins to kids will reduce their chances of having a heart attack later in life. Just wait until the known and common side effects like lethargy, dizziness and short-term memory loss kick in with those kids. Then you can diagnose them with ADHD and give them Adderall and Ritalin. Cool.
I have said many times on this site that statin drugs are (in my opinion – I have to disclaim it that way) the single biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American public. Scariest of all is that fact that so many doctors are buying into this idea that everyone might be better served by lowering cholesterol with compounds that interfere with important biochemical pathways – pathways that are there for a good reason. We’ve done several posts on this so there’s no need to spin it again here, except for me to state cynically that if I thought a type 2 diabetic was the ideal customer (20-40 years of meds at $200 a month) wait until these kids hit the Insurance System (50+ years on statins AND all the drugs to fight the side effects AND all the type 2 diabetes drugs they’ll need because they still haven’t addressed the main issues (diet and exercise). It’s the beginning of the end of personal responsibility in health.