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"Statin use urged to reduce heart risk in diabetic patients"

Medical Post

Source: Medical Post

Published: 15 Nov 2021

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (2½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

EDMONTON | Because statins reduce heart disease risk in those with diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD), "this population in particular should be targeted for widespread use of statins," say Edmonton researchers and international colleagues.

As reported in the December issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, an international research team led by Dr. Marcello Tonelli of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, analysed almost 20,000 patients from three randomized trials to determine whether pravastatin reduced the incidence of cardiovascular events. Researchers from Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia compared pravastatin (Pravachol) 40 mg daily to placebo, and the median followup time was 64 months. Chronic kidney disease, for this study, was defined as stage 2 or early stage 3....

The original article can be found at:

The original article can found in the Media Doctor archives.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 5 of 10
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This article reports on an analysis led by an Alberta researcher of three RCTs looking at the use of pravastatin in diabetics and patients with chronic kidney disease. It concludes that there needs to be more widespread use of statins in these populations.

It is good to see that the reporter relays both the relative and absolute risk reductions in terms of cardiovascular disease. This kind of clearer statistical reporting would benefit physicians, largely the target audience for this publication.

Where the report falters is in any discussion of harms associated with pravastatin use, information which surely must have been available considering the analysis examined the experiences of nearly 20,000 patients. Harms were neither mentioned nor quantified nor were alternatives mentioned. Is it possible, for example, to extrapolate these findings to other statins?

One additional point is that the report failed to consult with anyone outside the study, and didn't verify the results found by this study in relation to previous studies. We don't learn who funded the analysis nor whether there the researchers may have had a potential conflict of interest in conducting the analysis.

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