20 June 2013

Stronger statins don't up kidney injury risk

Preliminary studies indicate that higher doses of cholesterol-fighting drugs did not increase the risk of kidney injury among heart attack survivors.


A higher dose of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs did not increase the risk of kidney injury in heart attack survivors, according to preliminary study findings.

Statins have been shown to reduce the risk of a first heart attack or repeat ones, but some recent studies have suggested that higher doses of the drugs may be linked to a higher incidence of kidney injury.

To investigate the issue, researchers analysed data from two large clinical trials in which thousands of heart attack survivors received either high- or low-dose statins. The investigators found that higher doses did not increase the risk of hospitalisation for treatment of kidney injury.

The study also found that concentrations of a blood protein called creatinine -- an indicator of kidney function -- were comparable between the high- and low-dose statin groups during follow-up.

The findings were presented on Wednesday on the American Heart Association's Emerging Science Series webinar.

"These findings provide important reassurance to clinicians that the use of some high-potency statins will not increase the risk of kidney injury," study lead author Dr Amy Sarma, a resident physician in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said in an AHA news release.

The data and conclusions of unpublished research should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The US National Library of Medicine has more about statins.

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