CholesterolConflicts of InterestHeart DiseaseSurgery & Meds

Dear Professor Rory Collins

Following the publication of this paper in The Lancet , I wrote to Professor Rory Collins for his evidence. I have done this before, back in May 2012, when this paper was published.

May 2012

I wrote then:

Subject: The effects of lowering LDL paper in The Lancet
Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 11.29
From: zoe@XXXX>
To: CTT <[email protected]> (Note 1)

Dear Sir/Madam

I’ve been reading this paper with much interest. Please do you have the raw data available for view? It is not possible to see baseline numbers in the intervention vs control groups for each of the estimated risk groups.

Many thanks

Kind regards – Zoe

The reply I received was:

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: RE: The effects of lowering LDL paper in The Lancet
Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 13:40:39 +0000
From: CTT <[email protected]>
To: zoe@XXXX>

Dear Zoe,

Am I right in thinking you are asking for raw data at the participant level?

The CTT Collaboration holds data on a very strict basis and is not able to provide participant level data to third parties.

Sorry that we can’t be of any further help on this matter, but should we be able assist you in any other way please let us know.

Best wishes,


September 2016

This time I wrote as follows:

Subject: The Lancet Paper
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2016 14:54:06 +0100
From: Zoe Harcombe <zoe@XXXX >
To: [email protected] (Note 1)

Dear Professor Collins

Please can you point me to where in your recent Lancet paper I can find the source for/data behind these two statements in the abstract?

1) “For example, lowering LDL cholesterol by 2 mmol/L (77 mg/dL) with an effective low-cost statin regimen (eg, atorvastatin 40 mg daily, costing about £2 per month) for 5 years in 10 000 patients would typically prevent major vascular events from occurring in about 1000 patients (ie, 10% absolute benefit) with pre-existing occlusive vascular disease (secondary prevention) and in 500 patients (ie, 5% absolute benefit) who are at increased risk but have not yet had a vascular event (primary prevention).”


2) “Typically, treatment of 10 000 patients for 5 years with an effective regimen (eg, atorvastatin 40 mg daily) would cause about 5 cases of myopathy (one of which might progress, if the statin therapy is not stopped, to the more severe condition of rhabdomyolysis), 50–100 new cases of diabetes, and 5–10 haemorrhagic strokes… Statin therapy may cause symptomatic adverse events (eg, muscle pain or weakness) in up to about 50–100 patients (ie, 0·5–1·0% absolute harm) per 10 000 treated for 5 years. ”

Many thanks

Kind regards – Zoe

I then re-sent this message on 20th September…
——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: Fwd: The Lancet Paper
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2016 10:23:37 +0100
From: Zoe Harcombe <zoe@XXXX>
To: [email protected]

Dear Professor Collins

I appreciate that you may have had many emails since The Lancet article, but please do you have a time scale for replying to my email below?

Many thanks

Kind regards – Zoe


Funnily enough I have received no reply to either email. I thought I’d put this on open view, therefore, just to see if anyone else from the CTSU wants to share the data, which we need to be able to evaluate their otherwise completely unsubstantiated claims.

Note 1: Please note, the email addresses are those given as the email for correspondence in each article.

3 thoughts on “Dear Professor Rory Collins

  • Rory Collins is involved in lots of events this year which seem to be inspired by the idea that disinformation and media lies are harming people by making them wary of statins.

    He has an upcoming seminar at Oxford called ‘Post-Truth Medicine: Death and Disability by Disinformation’ and yesterday hosted an event called ‘An Oxford Conversation: Truth in the Media’.

    When will the pesky public start blindly following what the experts (him) say and stop questioning things?

  • Just had my blood test results back. Told cholesterol is 8.8. Really worried don’t want to take statins. On meds for high blood pressure can these cause high cholesterol. Been following low carb for 2 years but no reduction in blood pressure or cholesterol. Please advise if you can

    • Hi Carol
      I wrote this post (which signposts to many others) for anyone worried (pointlessly in my view) about cholesterol. (The ‘normal’ article may be of interest for blood pressure too).

      Best wishes – Zoe
      p.s. if your BP is genuinely high i.e. some way beyond 140/90 – this is still a symptom, rather than a problem per se. Ditto – the body will make more cholesterol if there is a problem to be fixed. Hence – the question to ask is – what real problem might you have? Recent surgery? illness? injury? infection? stress. The root cause needs to be fixed – not symptoms managed

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