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Statin Use May Benefit Kidney Transplant Patients

Users have significantly higher 12-year survival, but cause-and-effect is still unclear

THURSDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- In kidney transplant patients, statin use may be associated with prolonged survival, according to research published online July 23 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Franz Wiesbauer, M.D., of the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, and colleagues studied 2,041 patients who received kidney transplants between 1990 and 2003, including 302 who were statin users and 1,739 who were non-users at baseline.

The researchers found that 12-year patient survival rates were significantly higher for statin users than for non-users (73 percent versus 64 percent). They also found that the 12-year graft survival rates were not significantly different for statin users than for non-users (76 percent versus 70 percent).

"Notwithstanding the encouraging findings of our trial, it has to be acknowledged that even the most state-of-the-art statistical techniques can adjust only for measured confounders. Unmeasured confounders are not taken into account, and they can be addressed only by truly randomized clinical trials," the authors conclude. "This study provides evidence that statin treatment is associated with reduced all-cause mortality in renal transplant recipients; however, the non-randomized nature of our trial does not provide definitive evidence as to whether the observed associations are truly causal. This question will have to be answered by larger randomized clinical trials."

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