, , , , , , , ,

It’s the silly season in the national press, so we haven’t had an Armageddon-style health scare for a while. This sorry state of affairs has finally been corrected.

I’m delighted to say that the Daily Express was at it again yesterday (that’s Monday, because I’m writing this on Tuesday), going on about the dangers of statins, the cholesterol lowering drugs. According to ‘shocking new research,’ up to 1 in 10 people are receiving these ‘powerful’ drugs when they have no need to be on them.

I find it odd that the Express should be concerned about this. Only a couple of months ago they were claiming that ‘new research’ indicated that everyone over the age of 55 should be on statins even if there was no sign of hypercholsterolaemia. Indeed they were advocating that these ‘powerful heart drugs’ should be made available for sale over the counter in pharmacies. There was that little scare about six weeks ago, when more ‘shocking new research’ suggested that statins might be associated with liver damage, but since the damage is reversible on cessation of treatment, they didn’t have too much to get their ageing teeth into.

I fibbed a bit there. I don’t find it odd at all that the Express is foaming at the mouth again. It tends to get swivel-eyed at health scares, those and the weather. But let’s stay with health scares.

The newspaper’s Science Correspondent is one Jo Willey. She clearly has no background in medicine, pharmacology, genetics, nutrition, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, hepatic function, or indeed any science whatsoever. I would bet a tenner she has no formal scientific education at all. If she has, and still spouts this nonsense, she should be ashamed of herself.

One of the many things that irritates me about her is that she will insist on the use of the word ‘jab’ when she means injection. Since injections can be intradermal, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intravenous, even intrapleural or intra-arterial on special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas, the word ‘jab’ doesn’t help lend an air of gravitas, does it? Similarly Ms Willey seems to have not noticed that the term ‘pill’ is pretty much restricted these days to the oral contraceptive. She simply eschews such words as tablets or capsules, and refers instead to ‘pills.’ Really.

End of term report for Jo Willey. ‘Lazy, incompetent, self important. Ideas above her station. Needs to try harder but lacks the raw talent required.’