Higher strength statins do not increase risk of kidney injury

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Study Highlights:

  • A higher strength of  cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins did not increase the risk of kidney injury after heart attack.
  • These findings may reassure doctors and patients of the safety of higher strength statins among heart attack survivors.

Statins have been shown to reduce the risk of a first or recurrent heart attack, but recent observational studies suggest that high doses may be linked to a higher incidence of kidney injury.

In this study, researchers analyzed data from two large clinical trials in which survivors were randomly assigned to receive either high- or low-dose statins. Higher strenght statins did not increase the risk of hospitalizations with kidney injury when compared to low-dose statins.  In addition, concentrations of a blood protein, called creatinine, which reflects kidney function were comparable between the two groups during follow-up.

“These findings provide important reassurance to clinicians that the use of some high-potency statins will not increase the risk of kidney injury,” said Amy Sarma, M.D., M.H.S., the study’s lead author and a resident physician in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass.

The study data were obtained from two trials with more than 4,000 participants each – the PROVE IT-TIMI 22, and the A-to-Z Trial.

Co-authors are Christopher P. Cannon, M.D.; Stephen D. Wiviott, M.D.; Marc S. Sabatine, M.D., M.P.H.; Marc A. Pfeffer, M.D., Ph.D.; Elaine B. Hoffman. Ph.D.; Jianping Guo, M.A.S. and James A. de Lemos, M.D.  The senior author was Michelle L. O’Donoghue, M.D., M.P.H.

Author disclosures are on the abstract. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sankyo funded the PROVE IT-TIMI 22 study. Merck funded the A-to-Z trial.

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