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Triumph of the Heart: The Story of Statins Hardcover – April 3, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0195323573 ISBN-10: 0195323572 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195323572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195323573
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,331,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"In Triumph of the Heart, Jie Jack Li tells the fascinating story of statins, from the discovery and development of these drugs to their clinical application...Triumph of the Heart is recommended for those who are intrigued by the drive to explore and discover."--New England Journal of Medicine

"Trumph of the Heart provides documentation of some of the "oral history" of the story behind the story of statin development. The depiction of the champions of this important undertaking affirms their critical contributions to lowering cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide."--Journal of Clinical Investigation

"Easy to read, engaging and educational."--Paediatric Nursing

About the Author

Jie Jack Li currently works at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. He was previously a medicinal chemist Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals (which was bought in 2000 and closed in 2007 by Pfizer), the birth place of Lipitor. He is the author of Laughing Gas, Viagra, and Lipitor: The Human Stories behind the Drugs We Use (OUP 2006). He lives in Connecticut.

Books by same author The Art of Drug Synthesis Doug S. Johnson, Jie Jack Li, Eds., Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, NJ, 2007. Name Reactions for Functional Group Transformations, Jie Jack Li, Ed., Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, NJ, 2007. Modern Organic Synthesis in the Laboratory, A Collection of Standard Experimental Procedures, Jie Jack Li, Chris Limberakis, Derek A. Pflum, Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 2007. Laughing Gas, Viagra, and Lipitor, The Human Stories behind the Drugs We Use. Jie Jack Li, Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 2006. Contemporary Drug Synthesis Jie Jack Li, Douglas S. Johnson, Drago D. Sliskovic, Bruce D. Roth, Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, NJ, 2004; Chinese version, 2005. Name Reactions in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Jie Jack Li, Ed., Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, NJ, 2004. Name Reactions, A Collection of Detailed Reaction Mechanisms, Third and Expanded Edition, Jie Jack Li, Springer: Heidelberg, Germany, 2006. Palladium in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Jie Jack Li, Gordon W. Gribble, Tetrahedron Organic Chemistry Series, Vol. 20, 2000, Pergamon/Elsevier, Vol. 26, 2006.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zahc on September 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Given that cholesterol is "vital to our existence" as Dr. Li acknowledges, one would hope that there is overwhelming evidence to justify lowering it. However, such evidence is lacking, and as a result cholesterol does not deserve to be demonized.

It seems more likely that cholesterol is only harmful if modified (1-5), and although the total/HDL ratio appears to be one of the best predictors of cardiovascular outcomes (6-9), cholesterol markers tend to be poor predictors in the elderly (8,10-13). Furthermore, low cholesterol is often associated with higher mortality (14-34), or worse cause-specific outcomes (35,36). Of course, it does not mean that these associations are casual, as correlation does not imply causation.

In trials, hormones, sPLA2 inhibitors, fibrates, niacin, and CETP inhibitors, all fail to lower CV/CHD death and total mortality despite "improving" numerous lipid markers (37-41). There were also other trials using different treatments, but these were not supportive either (42), although some are misinterpreted to be. Many diet interventions have lowered cholesterol but failed to lower outcomes (43-50), whereas other trials have resulted in similar reductions in cholesterol (51-53) or none at all (54-56), but have looked far more promising. In fact, the two most successful dietary trials had no reduction in cholesterol at all (54-56).

All this data considered so far suggests that cholesterol levels are irrelevant. Do statins change this? The answer is no. Considering that statins possess a ton of pleiotropic effects (that seem to keep growing), it may be important to recognize that "cholesterol-lowering and statin therapy are different scientific entities" (57). Nevertheless, the evidence for statin use is not as strong as Dr.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Jogalekar VINE VOICE on August 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Statins revolutionized the prevention and treatment of heart disease and saved hundreds of thousands of lives that may have been otherwise lost through heart attacks and stroke and millions of dollars that would have been paid by patients for surgery and other invasive treatments. The best selling molecule in this class(atorvastatin) is the best selling drug of all time and makes more than 12 billion dollars for its parent company, Pfizer. In this engaging and informative book Jie Jack Li, a scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb company, tells us their story and drives home the importance of the pharmacautical industry at a time when much of the public has become cynical about its motives.

What makes the book valuable is that Li traces not just the history of the drugs themselves but the history of cardiovascular and obsesity research as well as the major players involved in this research. Li also spices up his accounts with amusing ancedotal information about scientists and companies. He narrates the famous Framingham study which definitively established the connection between high cholesterol and heart disease, a connection that has been tentatively explored for more than a hundred years. Also included are interesting historical accounts of several major pharmaceutical companies including Merck, Parke-Davies and Pfizer.

Cholesterol is a remarkable molecule that is the classic embodiment of a double edged sword. Michael Brown, a Nobel prize winning cholesterol researcher calls it a "Janus-faced" molecule, one which is critical in biological function while being harmful when employed incorrectly. No less than thirteen Nobel Prizes have been awarded to researchers who worked on this molecule.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful By chazza on April 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
What saints these people were. They developed statins (well they didn't really - statins started life as a poisonous natural red mould on rice) and promoted them with no thought of making money but by accident made so much that they impoverished healthcare worldwide.

And they helped people to get cancer, diabetes, congestive heart failure and all the rest of statins side effects at no extra charge.

We can be truly grateful.

These selfless people have also successfully concealed the truth about statins ineffectiveness so that we may feel better about taking them.

As my doctor said to me, the bad old days when people died of heart disease are at an end...

"When I started practice I remember a young man who smoked like a chimhney and drank like fish, and he died at 30. That wouldn't happen now thanks to statins".
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