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‘Statins’ Linked To Improved Survival In Kidney Transplant Recipients

Posted Jul 27 2008 11:09am

For patients receiving kidney transplants, treatment with cholesterol-lowering “statin” drugs may lead to longer survival.

“Statin therapy is well established for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in the general population, but its effectiveness in patients with kidney disease is unclear,” comments Dr. Rainer Oberbauer of the Medical University of Vienna, one of the study authors. “We showed that statin therapy was indeed associated with a lower risk of death in renal transplant recipients.”

The study included data on 2,041 patients receiving their first kidney transplant between 1990 and 2003. At the time of transplantation, about 15 percent of the patients were taking statin drugs to reduce their cholesterol levels. Patient survival and survival of the transplanted kidney were compared for patients who were and were not taking statins.

Overall, survival was somewhat better for patients on statin treatment. At 12 years’ follow-up, 73 percent of statin-treated patients were alive, compared to 64 percent of patients not taking statins.

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