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"Cholesterol-lowering drugs no help in fighting cancer: review"


Source: CBC.CA

Published: 04 Jan 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3½ stars)

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

Cholesterol-lowering drugs don't help to fight cancer, a new review concludes.

Researchers in the U.S. analyzed the results of 26 studies involving more than 73,000 people taking the statins such as simivastatin (Zocor) and pravachol (pravastatin).

"In our current meta-analysis, statins did not reduce the incidence of cancer or cancer death," the authors report in the Jan. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association...

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 8
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Applicable
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Applicable

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

While it might seem obvious to the reader, knowing that the drugs in question are available, are covered by drug plans in Canada, and cost x amount for the average consumer would have been helpful.

The author could confuse readers by mixing use of generic and brand names, and mixing the conventions used to express these. For example describing the drugs as: "simivastatin (Zocor) and pravachol (pravastatin)" contains a misspelled generic name (it's actually simvastatin) followed by a brand name in brackets, then the brand name pravachol (not capitalized) followed by the generic name in brackets.

As this is a story about a benefit that wasn't found, quantification of harms and benefits was not scored. Though it is not necessarily relevant to mention other cancer prevention strategies (there are too many to name), the mention of diet and exercise as alternative cholesterol lowering strategies is meritorious.

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