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Response to a critique of our statin analysis

By Maryanne Demasi, PhD, Paula Byrne, PhD, Mark Jones, PhD, Robert DuBroff, MD.

On several occasions, we have been asked to respond to a critique of our 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis on statin trials.

The critique was written by Peter Attia in April 2022, a physician and popular podcaster whose interests lie at the intersection of longevity, lipids and heart disease.

Many of the criticisms in Attia’s article were outside the scope of our research, but given his large social media following, and the many requests for our response, we thought we’d address his main points of concern.

A quick recap

Our study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, examined 21 statin trials involving 143,532 participants and found:

  • No consistent relationship between lowering LDL-Cholesterol (LDL-C) and death, heart attack or stroke, following statin therapy.
  • After statin therapy, the relative risk reductions for death, heart attack and stroke were 9%, 29%, and 14% respectively.
  • The corresponding absolute risk reductions were 0.8%, 1.3% and 0.4% (see graph).
  • The benefits of statins were minimal, and most of the trial participants who took statins, derived no clinical benefit.


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