Chronic kidney disease and statins: improving cardiovascular outcomes

D Benson Walker, Thanh Jennifer Walker, Terry A Jacobson
Current Atherosclerosis Reports 2009, 11 (4): 301-8
The burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) continues to increase worldwide. Patients with CKD are at greater risk of mortality from cardiovascular events than end-stage renal disease. This review describes the pathogenesis of dyslipidemia in CKD patients and the role of statins in reducing coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality. The major clinical trials with statins in CKD patients are reviewed along with a discussion of statin safety. Although statin dosing and safety in patients with early CKD (Stage I or II) are similar to those of the general population, dose adjustments are required in advanced CKD (Stages III- V) due to differences in statin pharmacokinetics and renal excretion. Although the use of statins to reduce cardiovascular events in patients with mild to moderate CKD is strongly supported by existing clinical trials, no clinical benefit has been demonstrated in two large clinical trials involving hemodialysis patients.

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