Try to visualize it: You walk away from the counter at McDonald's carrying a Quarter Pounder with cheese and side order of fries on your tray. You cross over to the soda machine and fill a large cup with Coke. Then you visit the condiment bar and grab packets of ketchup, mustard ... and a statin?
This is the brilliant idea put forth by a group of British doctors and public health experts in next Sunday's edition of the American Journal of Cardiology.
The logic of their proposal is hard to refute. Although scientists have not worked out a precise formula to calculate how many minutes each Big Mac will shave off your life, there is little doubt that fast food -- with all its fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar -- is bad for one's cardiovascular health. By the same token, a low-dose statin (of the type that's available without a prescription in the U.K.) has only a cardiovascular upside. In fact, studies show that statins are beneficial even when they're not taken every day.
Whatever possible risk the statins might pose, "it cannot ... be reasonably argued on safety grounds that individuals should be free to choose to eat lipid-rich foods but not be free to supplement it with a statin," they wrote.