High doses of statins can cause kidney damage

0
301

March 21, 2013

LONDON: High doses of statins, a drug prescribed to lower cholesterol, could dramatically increase the risk of kidney damage, a new study has warned.

Researchers from University of British Columbia and the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal studied more than two million statin users.

March 21, 2013

LONDON: High doses of statins, a drug prescribed to lower cholesterol, could dramatically increase the risk of kidney damage, a new study has warned.

Researchers from University of British Columbia and the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal studied more than two million statin users.

They found that patients taking higher strength pills were more at risk of suffering acute kidney injury.

They were at a 34 per cent greater danger of being hospitalized with kidney problems within 120 days of starting treatment with high-dose statins than low-dose pills, the Daily Express reported.

"In some cases, patients may be exposed to unnecessary risk of kidney damage for small gains in cardiovascular health. Although the absolute risk of kidney damage with these drugs is low, our findings put into question the common approach of using higher doses to push cholesterol levels lower and lower," author of the Canadian report, Professor Colin Dormuth, said.

About one in 500 patients were hospitalized for acute kidney injury within a period of up to two years – the length of the study – after starting a lower strength statin, according to study published in British Medical Journal.

"We are not saying don't take statins. If you are giving patients a high dose statin, let's make sure there is a good reason. A high dose might be beneficial for those who have had a heart attack or have high cholesterol, and then they are life-saving," said Dr Pierre Ernst, professor of medicine at the McGill University Centre for Clinical Epidemiology in Montreal, who was involved in the research.

"But for the 40-year-old woman who exercises, doesn't have high blood pressure and only slightly raised cholesterol, there is no need to put her on a high dose," Ernst said.

Statins considered to be high potency were rosuvastatin at doses of 10mg or higher, atorvastatin at doses of 20mg or higher, and simvastatin at doses of 40mg or more.


Courtesy: PTI