Study finds low statin use among some high-risk kidney disease patients

Clinical trials have shown that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in kidney disease patients who are not on dialysis.

But a new study has found that statins are used by only 21.8 percent of such patients who do not already have cardiovascular disease or diabetes or have not been diagnosed with high cholesterol.

The study by researchers from Loyola Medicine, Loyola University Chicago and Hines VA Hospital was published in Clinical Kidney Journal.

“Our findings suggest a need for education efforts to increase statin use in adults with non dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease,” reported first author Talar Markossian, Ph.D., MPH, corresponding author Holly Kramer, MD, MPH, and colleagues.

More than 500 million people worldwide have chronic kidney disease and are not on dialysis. Most cases are due to diabetes and high blood pressure, which also are strong risk factors for heart attacks, strokes and other forms of cardiovascular disease. The risk of cardiovascular disease increases sharply as kidney disease becomes worse.

In the new study, researchers examined records of 581,344 patients receiving care from Veterans Affairs facilities. Patients were aged 50 and older, with stages 3-5 kidney disease that did require dialysis.

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