statins for kids
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The rush to recommend prescription of statins without the evidence is an indication of the effects of the dollars Big Pharma gives to the American Academy of Pediatrics and of how a medical organization functions to promote the wealth of its members.  Lacking are studies to show long term safety, that statins would reduce plaque formation and as a consequence lengthen lives.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical sub-specialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

For Release: July 7, 2008, 12:01 am (ET)

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new cholesterol screening and treatment recommendations for children. The policy statement, “Lipid Screening and Cardiovascular Health in Childhood,” recommends cholesterol screening of children and adolescents with a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease. It also recommends screening patients whose family history is unknown or those who have other factors for heart disease including obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes. Screening should take place after age two, but no later than age 10.  The best method for testing is a fasting lipid profile. If a child has values within the normal range, testing should be repeated in three to five years. For children who are more than eight years old and who have high LDL concentrations, cholesterol-reducing medications should be considered. Younger patients with elevated cholesterol readings should focus on weight reduction and increased activity while receiving nutritional counseling. The statement also recommends the use of reduced-fat dairy products, such as two percent milk, for children as young as one year of age for whom overweight or obesity is a concern.


This position paper was picked up by the corporate media, which restated the information above; see for example the Washington Post.  Guess who is the biggest advertiser for the media.

Cholesterol Drugs Recommended for Some 8-year-Olds

By Lindsey Tanner, The Associated Press, Monday, July 7, 2008, 7:26 AM


This aggressive new recommendation for warding off heart disease in some children has stirred a furious debate among pediatricians since the American Academy of Pediatrics issued it on Monday. 


While some doctors applauded the idea, others were incredulous. In particular, these doctors called attention to a lack of evidence that the use of the cholesterol-lowering drugs, called statins, in children would prevent heart attacks later in life.

Although the real numbers are small, some experts worry that the new guidelines will encourage too much reliance on drug therapy rather than more difficult lifestyle changes.

“It will open the door for pharmaceutical companies to heavily advertise and promote their use in 8-year-olds, when we don’t know yet the long-term effect on using these drugs on prepubertal kids,” said Dr. Alan Greene, a pediatrician in Danville, Calif., and the founder of the popular.


The academy's earlier advice said cholesterol drugs should only be considered in children older than 10 after they fail to lose.   weight. Its previous cholesterol screening recommendations also were less specific and did not include targeted ages for beginning testing.

With one-third of U.S. children overweight and about 17 percent obese, the new recommendations are important, said Dr. Jennifer Li, a Duke University children's heart specialist.


Part of the concern about statin use in children stems from the fact that there is still controversy about how widespread their use should be in adults. Statins, which are the most prescribed drugs in the world, have been shown to lower risk for heart attack and death in middle-aged men with existing heart disease.  {NOTICE what hasn’t been said that it lowers the risk of heart attacks for those with poor cholesterol profiles}.   But there is little evidence they prolong life in healthy men, women or people over 70. And since statins have been around only since the mid-1980s, there is no evidence to show whether giving statins to a child will lower his or her risk for heart attack in middle-age.

Side effects, particularly muscle pain and cognitive problems, also have been a concern in adults, but it is unclear whether children will experience similar problems.


Those who have a financial interest in the outcome manipulate the results, Major study finds that all 37 journal articles positive effects over stated; the average was 32%.