STATINS-SOME BAD NEWS-SOME GOOD NEWS

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Statin linked to sleep problems and weight gain

by

Jennie Hope

[Daily Mail-Medical Correspondent-November 8-2007]

 

A DRUG used by around one million |Britons to lower cholestrol is linked to significant' sleep problems, according to research.

In the biggest study of its kind, U.S. scientists found

'simvastatin'

disrupts the sleep patterns of some patients which they claim could lead to aggression and weight gain.

The drug is the cheapest statin available and has been promoted by the Government as part of its  cost-cutting drive.

It is also the only statin which can be bought over the counter in pharmacies, where it is sold as

Zocor Heart Pro

The latest findings come from a study of 1,000 healthy men and women who were taking either simvastatin,  pravastatin (another cholesterol-lowering drug) or a 'dummy' pill

Experts claim sleep disturbances may be triggered by simvastatin crossing into the brain, unlike other statins.

Dr Beatrice Golomb, of the University of California at San Diego School of medicine, said:

'The findings are significant because sleep problems can affect quality of life and may have adverse health consequences, such as promoting weight gain and insulin resistance. the results showed simvastatin use was associated with significantly worse sleep quality.'

At present, 3.4 million people take statins to cut the risk of heart attack and stroke and the cost is close to 1 billion a year.

The British Heart Foundation estimates almost 10,000 deaths a year are avoided as a result.

Simvastatin is the most prescribed statin here because it is a generic drug - along with pravastatin -which makes it cheaper than branded versions.

The latest study compared simvastatin, which is lipophilic(solution in fats), and pravastatin, which is hydropholic (soluble in water).

Because simvastatin is fat soluble it can more readily penetrate cell membranes and cross the blood barrier into the brain.

 

The brain controls sleep, and many of the brain's nerve cells are wrapped in a fatty insulating sheath called myelin.

Releasing the results yesterday at the American heart Association, Dr Golomb said:

'On average, the lipophilic statin had a greater adverse effect on sleep quantity.'

She added:

 'Those who reported developing much worse sleep also showed a significant adverse change in aggression scores compared to others.'

Dr Golomb said:  ''Patients taking simvastatin who are having sleep problems should consult their doctor. Sleep deprivation is a major problem in a minor number of people.'

In past studies, some people on statins have reported having insomnia or nightmares.

In the UK, sleep disruption is not recorded as a potential side  effect in product information for simvastatin or Zocor Heart Pro.

Dr Malcolm Kendrick, author of

The Great Cholestrol Con

said many patients were not aware of the side effects and their concerns were often dismissed by doctors.

He said

'These side effects can include subtle effects on cognitive function including memory sleep and aggression levels which have been highlighted by scientific research papers.'

A spokesman for the medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said there were European moves to harmonise information about the side effects.

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THE GREAT CHOLESTEROL CON-

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THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN-IS THE EU COMMISSION LISTENING?

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Ditch the EU TREATY after IRISH REJECTION

SAY VOTERS

by

Daniel Martin

Political Reporter

[Daily Mail-Wednesday, June 18,2008]

MORE THAN HALF of voters believe Britain should drop the controversial European Treaty in the wake of its rejection in last week's

IRISH REFERENDUM'

The poll comes as the Tories launch a last-ditch bid in the

HOUSE of LORDS

today to delay the

RATIFICATION OF THE TREATY.

And

10,000 people

have signed a

PETITION

on the

DOWNING STREET- WEBSITE

within the past few days

JUNE16-2008

, calling on the

GOVERNMENT

NOT TO RATIFY THE BILL

[WHY DON'T YOU?]

 

Downing Street website is

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Abandon-Lisbon/

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JUNE 18-2008

 

 

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