The role of statins in chronic kidney disease

Rigas G Kalaitzidis, Moses S Elisaf
American Journal of Nephrology 2011, 34 (3): 195-202
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality not only amongst the general population, but also in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Persons with CKD are much more likely to die of CVD than to experience kidney failure. Clinical trials have demonstrated that statins are gaining widespread acceptance as a principal therapy for the primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerosis and CVD. In CKD patients the role of statins in primary prevention of CVD remains to be clarified. The absolute benefit of treatment with a statin seems to be greater among nondialysis-dependent-CKD patients. Studies in end-stage renal disease patients on dialysis did not confirm these results. Recently, however, the Study of Heart and Renal Protection (SHARP) has suggested that statins with ezetimibe may be beneficial even in dialysis patients. Clinical studies with statins on proteinuria reduction and renal disease progression have yielded conflicting results. Some studies have shown a prominent reduction in proteinuria, while other studies have shown that statins had no effect or may cause proteinuria at high doses. This review examines the clinical evidence of the observed benefits of kidney function with the use of this drug category in CKD patients.

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