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ACC: Rosuvastatin Not Beneficial for Dialysis Patients

Despite improved lipid levels, mortality is no different between treated and untreated patients

MONDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- In hemodialysis patients, rosuvastatin lowers levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol but has no effect in reducing mortality, according to research published online March 30 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American College of Cardiology's 58th Annual Scientific Session held March 29 to 31 in Orlando, Fla.

Bengt C. Fellstrom, M.D., Ph.D., of University Hospital in Uppsala, Sweden, and colleagues randomly assigned 2,776 hemodialysis patients aged 50 to 80 to receive either 10 mg daily of rosuvastatin or placebo.

After three months, the researchers found that the rosuvastatin group achieved a mean reduction of 43 percent in LDL levels. After a median follow-up of 3.8 years, however, they found that there were no significant differences between the rosuvastatin and placebo groups in the primary end point: a composite of mortality from cardiovascular causes, non-fatal myocardial infarction or non-fatal stroke (9.2 versus 9.5 events per 100 patient-years) or all-cause mortality (13.5 versus 14 events per 100 patient-years).

"The search is on for more promising interventions for a desperately needy group of people with very poor outcomes," state the authors of an accompanying editorial. "Such interventions need to be based on a more complete understanding of the causal pathway of cardiac disease in patients undergoing hemodialysis."

The study was supported by AstraZeneca; several authors have disclosed financial relationships with AstraZeneca.

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