The Risk-Benefit Analysis of Medication: Statins, Cholesterol
Hi everybody, this is Dr. Steven Winiarski and I wanted to make this short video to highlight something I run into a lot. I recently had an interaction with a patient who has a significantly elevated LDL cholesterol which was really well controlled once he was placed on a low-dose statin. He consulted me because he was concerned about the long-term side effects of being on a statin. I think this is a very astute approach to making any long-term change with medication or diet. It’s important to determine the risk-benefit ratio. In this case, the patient was worried about the possibility of the statin increasing the risk of diabetes, which is a recognized risk for some individuals taking statins. Now there’s a lot of nuance in this concern that we won’t go into now because the purpose of this video is to highlight that when we do our risk-benefit analysis we have to take into account not only the risk of being on a medication but also the risk of not being on a medication or not making a change. That is to say, what are the side effects of long-term hyperlipidemia compared to the side effects of taking a statin for making any other change long-term. This can also be applied to adopting a different diet or starting an over-the-counter supplement. So I urge everyone to take into account both sides of the equation before making any decision. Have a great day!