That's the title of a new book by cardiologist Ernest N. Curtis MD, reviewed in this week's HND article.
The cholesterol skepticism movement is growing, and Curtis came to it quite naturally. As a cardiologist, he was seeing hundreds of patients with coronary artery disease who did not fit the accepted profile. This prompted him to look into the science supposedly supporting the cholesterol and diet/heart theory of coronary artery disease.
Like most people who actually examine the work—as opposed to simply accepting someone else's interpretation of it—he concluded that:
The Cholesterol Theory and the Diet-Heart theory [of coronary heart disease] are scientifically bankrupt. Moreover, the continued presentation of these unproven theories as established fact in both the popular press and medical journals causes harm by diverting attention from the true causes and wasting billions of dollars on useless research.
There are many zingers in The Cholesterol Delusion, and here are a few examples:
- The Cholesterol Theory is a near-perfect medical analog of the Emperor's New Clothes. When examined closely, there is nothing there.
- Victims of heart attacks have cholesterol levels evenly distributed throughout the range of values. In fact, more than half of heart attack victims have cholesterol levels in the low normal range.
- The official cause of death on death certificates can be wrong more than half the time. Moreover, it is clouded with the cultural biases of a particular country.
Consider the implications of this cause of death business for a moment. If the data is so wildly inaccurate, then just how valid are the countless epidemiological studies supposedly linking this or that "risk factor" to death from heart disease? Short answer: Not very.
As you might expect, Dr. Curtis also takes a dim view of statins, and has the data to back it up.
Read the complete article, and then check out his book.