Cholesterol Medications, Cardiovascular Risks and Polio Survivors
Edward P. Bollenbach

Professor Emeritus in Biology, Northwestern Connecticut Community College

Eddie Bollenbach Bio & Picture

From Posts to the Post-Polio-Med email list

Wed, 21 Sep 2011 15:22:09 -0400

Polio survivors, in general, are at higher risk for diabetes, due to increased body weight and less physical activity. This predisposes one to cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Some studies have shown that statin muscle soreness can't be tolerated by most competitive athletes. I compete with able bodied athletes and do very well with my muscles and I use a wheelchair.

I have been on atorvastatin for 3 years, then switched to Crestor, not because of any muscle problems but because a lot of the medications I took caused an increase in the blood concentration of lipitor. So I saw the liver enzymes that Crestor interacts with and none of my drugs interact with Crestor.

Now I have been on Crestor for 3 years with absolutely no problems. A recent (released today so pretty recent) meta analysis (this is where you look at a lot of studies and put them together analyzing 10s of thousands of patients over several years and looking at a lot of different drugs) showed that Crestor alias Rosuvastatin, produces about one quarter as many Creatine Kinase elevations as lipitor (that means about 4 times less evidence of muscle damage). But dangerous muscle problems are pretty rare; I mean the life threatening ones. They are in the range of 1 in a thousand patients or so.

The other adverse affect that I think most people with PPS worry about is muscle soreness, particularly after exertion. I don't think you should worry about this because it reverses when you stop taking the drug. So why gamble on a heart attack or a stroke when your doctor is concerned enough to ask you to take the drug? If you get muscle soreness you can switch statins. They are broken down differently than one another so if one gives you muscle soreness another often does not.

I remember reading a medical article recently that said Zetia is not very helpful in the prevention of cardiovascular problems. Ask your doc for the evidence. He probably can't give it to you. Or research it yourself, Google Zetia and heart disease and see if you can find any positive results. Niacin raises HDL but it can cause liver problems and it has not been shown to reduce cardiovascular problems simply by raising HDL. I'd ask for evidence of that too.

So, to sum up: Polio survivors, in general, are heavier, more sedentary, not as physically active, older, have more hypertension, less muscle mass and more are diabetic. This means they have a real important risk factors over able bodied athletes, one of which is statin O Phobia.

Take the drug if the doc gives it to you. What's it gonna do kill ya? No, but heart and blood vessel disease or cancer is what most of us die from and polio survivors, in general, are stacked in the heart disease category from what I see. I would like to add that Scout and I have seen several friends die of heart related diseases who were earlier on these lists. Don't argue with the doctor.

Hell, I have a lot of atrophy that has come on since I was a passer in the early 1980s and now drive a power chair. I swim 2 fast miles a day (everybody told me not to do that but today say I look great and the doctors don't believe I am 65). I lift weights 3 times a week, and as I said, I took two statins with no problems and am currently on Crestor. Go figure............Eddie

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