What would you say if you saw the following chart for a study?
Let’s look at the first line which is nonfatal cardiovascular events.
The placebo column says 5.1 with 29 in parentheses.
In the active column says 4.5, with 27 in parentheses.
That means 29 placebo people have heart attacks, and 27 of the treated people have heart attacks.
Not much of a difference over 1000 patient years, is it?
What this means is that if you took peoples’ time on this earth, and added all of them up to reach 1000 years.
And they found that you would be reducing the treated people by one or two heart attacks over 1000 years.
131 of the non-treated people would get angina, versus 105 of the treated people. Over 1000 years.
And so on and so on.
Now, let’s assume that the treated people had to take a medication that had a ton of side effects.
So to reduce the chances of getting a heart attack by one or two per thousand patient years, everybody would have to take this medication.
And this medication causes erectile dysfunction, falls, blackouts, and so forth.
So based on this, what would you do if you were given this choice?
You can choose to avoid the one out of 1000 chance of having a heart attack and suffer the definite side effects.
Remember… you’d be dealing with ED, falls, blackouts, and maybe a lot of other issues.
Or you can choose to avoid all those side effects and take that small chance of maybe having a heart attack… maybe.
I would imagine most people would elect not to take the pill.
That’s what we face today with the fight for control of our blood pressure.
High blood pressure is always treated with medication.
It’s a standard line that you’ll suffer and die if you don’t treat your high blood pressure.
And that there are a lot of people going around who don’t know they have high blood pressure and are risking their lives.
Certainly there is dangerously high blood pressure.
But nowadays they treat even 140 or 150 systolic (the higher number) as if it’s something that requires medication.
They also feel that anything over 80 for the diastolic (and thus the lower number) requires medication.
So you have been millions of people taking blood pressure medication, and here’s the punchline…
In this study of studies, they conclude found some startling news.
There is really very little improvement for people taking blood pressure medication, over people who don’t take it.
This is a study that looked at many many other studies.
Now, these researchers were very heavily biased.
They fully expected to increase the number of people taking medication.
In other words, the big Pharma types.
But even big Pharma types can hide the truth!
When you’re looking at whether or not to take a pill, the thing that really makes a difference is what is called all-cause mortality.
How may people live longer, by taking the pill, as opposed to people not taking the pill?
All cause mortality is important.
I’m not saying blood pressure medication does prevent stroke or heart attack, but it’s possible.
But although the medication may lower the chances of these events, what about the side effects?
The medication may cause depression, or erectile dysfunction.
Or maybe the drug increases the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Many blood pressure medications can increase your risk of falling.
Did blood pressure medication do you any good if you break your hip and die of an infection in the hospital?
In fact, blood pressure medication results in maybe millions of falls every year.
It’s called postural hypotension, and it results when you take blood pressure medication.
People experience it when they’ve been sitting for a while and then suddenly stand up.
That blood pressure in the brain is too low, and you black out, and fall.
That’s why all-cause mortality is so important in studies like this.
Because you need to know if the blood pressure medication saves lives.
You need to know if it extends lives beyond where they would ordinarily be without the medication.
And the researchers are quite clear here.
With almost 10,000 people enrolled in the underlying study:
There was not much of a difference between the actively treated group, and the untreated control group.
There was some difference, but not much.
Keep in mind the results are from over years and years.
And the study had over about 10,000 people.
If they all had extensively treated their blood pressure and taken all kinds of medication, only 100 out of 10,000 might not have died as quickly.
Or maybe not, we really don’t know for sure.
The studies are very easily manipulated when the results are not clear like this — they can be manipulated according to the bias the researchers.
But remember… these researchers expected to find that medication was a great help in saving lives.
They didn’t find the dramatic support that they were expecting.
These results are vanishingly small.
And this is how almost all medications are passed through to the gullible public and gullible doctors today.
The drug companies do all these enormous studies that show very little benefit.
But it’s a benefit just large enough in some respect, to get the drug approved.
Of course, you’re the guinea pig.
The drug is only tested by the pharmaceutical company for maybe a year at most.
And even then, the test is usually done by a contract research organization.
These research organizations have every incentive to show that the drug worked out well.
Years and years go by, and then we discover all kinds of terrible side effects and interactions with the drug.
But by then the big Pharma companies have moved onto the next drug.
Besides the old one is off patent and is no longer profitable.
And the drug companies found it’s cheaper to settle all the class-action lawsuits later on anyway.
Meanwhile, the profits add up to billions per year just for blood pressure medications alone.
Am I saying you shouldn’t treat your blood pressure with medication?
I can’t say that for sure.
I’m just giving you some of my through natural means.
There are actually some very simple ways of lowering blood pressure.
These are not with patented medications.
But doctors don’t know about these options.
They’re too busy on roller skates going from one exam room to the next trying to keep up with managed care.
And hey, the drug company sales rep is waiting in the lunchroom with a free lunch.
This is how the world works today.
Don’t fall for it.
Of course you should talk to your doctor about blood pressure medication if you have high blood pressure.
But be aware of the options.
And be aware that there isn’t really any proof that blood pressure medication actually saves lives.
Elevated systolic blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular and renal disease: Overview of evidence from observational epidemiologic studies and randomized controlled trials