Effects of atorvastatin on Lp(a) and lipoprotein profiles in hemodialysis patients

Melanie S Joy, Kimberly A Dornbrook-Lavender, Hyunsook Chin, Susan L Hogan, Cynthia Denu-Ciocca
Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2008, 42 (1): 9-15

BACKGROUND: Dialysis patients have many underlying traditional and nontraditional risk factors that may predispose them to a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease. The effects of statins (eg, atorvastatin) on altering nontraditional lipoprotein measures in dialysis patients have not been extensively investigated.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of atorvastatin compared with a control group in inducing changes in lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)], apolipoprotein (Apo) A-1, Apo-B, and fibrinogen levels, as well as the conventional lipoprotein profile, in hemodialysis patients over 36 weeks; secondary objectives were to assess changes in C-reactive protein, albumin, and safety measures.

METHODS: Forty-five hemodialysis patients with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels greater than 100 mg/dL were randomized to parallel groups: atorvastatin (n = 19) or no treatment (n = 26). The atorvastatin dose was titrated from 10 mg to achieve an LDL-C goal of 100 mg/dL or less and therapy was continued for 36 weeks. Biochemical and lipoprotein laboratory tests for efficacy outcomes were obtained at baseline, 12 weeks, and 36 weeks.

RESULTS: The atorvastatin group exhibited clinically significant reductions (mean +/- SD) compared with controls in total cholesterol (-21.7 +/- 41.7 vs -3.2 +/- 40.0 mg/dL, respectively; p = 0.017) and LDL-C (-13.1 +/- 32.0 vs -1.1 +/- 38.4 mg/dL, respectively; p = 0.058) levels, as well as Lp(a) (-10.6 +/- 27 vs 3.5 +/- 17.8 mg/dL, respectively; p = 0.046). Statistical analyses included analysis of variance on ranked measures for multivariable modeling and paired t-test to determine changes in efficacy measures between baseline and 36 weeks within groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Atorvastatin was safe and effective in reducing Lp(a), total cholesterol, and LDL-C levels. Given the prevalence of atherosclerosis in hemodialysis patients, therapy aimed at reducing traditional and nontraditional risk factors may be beneficial.

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