Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Asking the wrong questions

Great letter from Dr. Dean Ornish to the NY Times in response to the recent news that Crestor (a statin currently used to treat high cholesterol) has been FDA-approved for use as a preventive measure in healthy people with no cholesterol problems in order to reduce chronic inflammation (as measured by levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood).

 Ornish points out:
The wrong question is being asked. It’s not: “Should Crestor be given to reduce inflammation?” It should be: “What is the cause of chronic inflammation, and what can be done to address these causes?”
As he and others have found, the causes of chronic inflammation are related to lifestyle: poor diet, not enough exercise, emotional stress, and social isolation.

I agree that we should invest in preventing these underlying causes... rather than spend billions on statins (and their side effects).


  1. What a great point!

    I've had my own experience in that I used to work for Pfizer pharmaceuticals, which was such a departure from my personal life in that I was deeply involved in the practice of yoga. All these drugs only have people hanging by a thread, but nobody's THRIVING! I saw it too many times in all the DR.'s offices I sat in.

    Glad to be on the other side of the fence now.

    Great blog!

  2. the fence or the ambulance

    We humans are a tough crowd

    I remain a
    pill perfering, seeking easy answers, doing yoga, eating healthier, aging,
    difficult person.

  3. Hi Laruga, so good to hear from you! So interesting you say that when you worked at Pfizer you got really into your yoga practice - the same thing seems to have happened with me in medical school. The more narrow my life got in school/the medical world, the more I clung to yoga...

    I love your word thriving - you are exactly right. People should be healthy and THRIVING. Simply alive (and medicated) is not enough!

    Adam, I like that poem... we need more fences!!!!