The NHLBI: Trustworthy?
What is the NHLBI? It's the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a sub department of the National Institutes of Health.
They are the sponsors of the famous and expensive 1964 Framingham Study, which is cited by most governmental nutritional agencies as a reason for Americans to lower their cholesterol levels through diet and drugs.
According to them, the Framingham study claimed a strong link between elevated cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease mortality. If you take the time to read the original study and study the raw data, this "strong" link is nowhere to be found.
But the authors of the study did not reject their invalidated hypothesis as good science would dictate. Too many taxpayer dollars had been spent for that outcome to be possible.
Under pressure from their NHLBI sponsors, the authors spun the data instead. In the study summary, they wrote that the data did suggest a link between cholesterol levels and heart disease, knowing that very few doctors and their patients would read the original study.
Worse, this organization has hidden a more important public health fact which the Framingham study uncovered. In 1987, the Framingham researchers published a 30 year follow up paper on the "all cause mortality rates" and the coronary heart disease (CHD) rates of the Framingham study participants.
The researchers looked not only at coronary heart disease deaths, but deaths from stroke, cancer and other illnesses over the longer time frame, and they reported a surprising outcome.
For those participants who were over age 50, lower cholesterol rates were associated with a higher risk of death from CHD and all causes.
In 1992, the NHLBI convened a conference to discuss the fact that the Framingham study and other studies were finding that the long term result of lowering cholesterol was an INCREASE in all-cause mortality. The results of this conference were never published.
In fact, if you look at the Framingham Research Milestone page on the new Framingham website, no reference is made to this conference or to the results showing that lower cholesterol levels are associated with an increase in all cause mortality rates. Take a look, and note that there is no listing of activities in 1987 or in 1992. They would prefer you never know the truth that an elevated cholesterol level is predictive of a longer life.
How committed can they be to public health if they lie about the unsupportive Framingham 30 year follow up report and the conference results in their educational products? The NHLBI does not tell the American public that there is no link between elevated cholesterol levels and heart disease mortality.
In fact, half of all people who die of heart disease have normal cholesterol levels.
Evidentially, after telling people to lower their cholesterol for years, and building huge financial structures and lucrative ties to corporate partners on that advice, the NHLBI can’t admit to having been wrong all this time.
NHLBI Quotes and My Responses
Here are some quotes from the NHLBI website and education booklets, along with my general responses in italics:
Another Interesting Note about the NHLBI
They also have a web page which promotes a pamphlet about cholesterol called "High Blood Cholesterol - What You Need to Know."
I read the document, and it has some blatant lies in it, including:
Here's the interesting part..
The web page for this pamphlet has a "review" feature. It allows you to add your comments on what you think of the pamphlet.
I added a comment on September 21, 2008, that in very nice, very intelligent terms, politely said that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for heart disease.
When I submitted it, the site offered a bit of text that said “your comment will be posted after it is reviewed and approved".
It has yet to be posted, and most likely won’t be.
And if you look at that web page, you’ll see many other blank postings. My guess is that these were posts that did not support the information in the pamphlet. Note that the only postings on the page are those that support the pamphlet.
Could the US National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute be censoring free speech in an effort to save face?
Is lying trustworthy behavior? If the evidence that high cholesterol caused heart disease was real and undisputed, than the NHLBI should have no problem with an alternative view being presented.
So it seems that the NLHBI silences the comments of dissenters. Does anyone else think that is scary?