In a new international study of 4500 high-risk heart patients randomized to the statin Zocor or placebo, 3 had a rare, often lethal side effect–rhabdomyolosis. For the rest, the higher dose Zocor did not hold any benefit, even after two years. The first sign, commonly, is simple muscle ache with statins.
This study is so important that JAMA has published it online, ahead of print. An editorialist from the Cleveland Clinic called it near the “toxic threshold.”
An aggressive cholesterol-lowering strategy for patients at very high risk of a heart attack is to lower LDL to below 70. For most others, less than 100 is the goal. This can be achieved with aggressive dietary intervention: successful patients have done so already. Lower your LDL safely.