Statins Benefit Kidney Disease Patients with Dyslipidemia

Statins reduce risk of vascular events in patients with mild chronic kidney disease and dyslipidemia

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with mild-to-moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) are prone to abnormal lipid metabolism, which can be treated effectively with statins, but evidence of statins' effectiveness in hemodialysis patients is inconclusive, researchers report in the June 24 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Charles R. Harper, M.D., of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues undertook a review of several landmark population studies involving treatment of thousands of people with dyslipidemia and CKD, the majority of whom had mild-to-moderate disease.

Patients with CKD often have mixed dyslipidemia, which requires treatment with several kinds of lipid-lowering drugs, the researchers observe. Studies consistently demonstrate that statins successfully reduce risk of cardiovascular disease in mild CKD patients by as much as nearly 30 percent, although doses and types of statins may need to be adjusted, depending on kidney function. The evidence is not clear for hemodialysis patients, however; two major outcomes studies now under way should help to clarify the role of lipid-modifying drugs in this subset.

"Evidence from subgroup analysis of several landmark lipid trials supports treating dyslipidemia in mild to moderate patients with CKD," the authors conclude. Referring to hemodialysis patients, they add, "Because statins are relatively safe and the evidence for lowering cholesterol to reduce cardiovascular disease is so overwhelmingly positive in non-hemodialysis patients, it is reasonable to continue treating these patients until future trials are completed."

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