“Fear-Based Medical Misinformation” Causes Vaccine and Statin “Hesitancy” or is Public Waking Up to the Truth? Dr. Brownstein Reponds to AMA
An article in the June, 2019 edition of JAMA Cardiology was titled, “Fear-Based Medical Misinformation and Disease Prevention: From Vaccines to Statins." In this article, the author states “fake medical news” as the reason that patients are exhibiting hesitancy about utilizing statins and vaccines. The author blames vaccine refusers for fueling outbreaks of measles. However, mandating that every child receive the MMR does not guarantee a measles-free population. China continues to have measles outbreaks even though Chinese children are the most vaccinated in the world—over 99% of Chinese children are fully vaccinated for measles. Furthermore, there has been a rash of mumps outbreaks across the US since 2006–all in fully vaccinated populations. In fact, from 2016-2017, there have been over 9,200 cases of mumps in the US, mostly from fully vaccinated people. The author blames fake news because patients are concerned about statin safety. A large percentage of patients stop statin drugs due to side effects. I find it doubtful that fake news is responsible for a large percentage of patients to suffer adverse effects from statin therapy. I have been a clinician for over 25 years and regularly heard patients complaining about statin adverse effects.