The dyslipidemia of chronic renal disease: effects of statin therapy

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Purpose of reviewDyslipidemia is a prevalent condition in patients with chronic renal disease, but is often left untreated. Statin treatment constitutes an effective way to improve lipid abnormalities. This review summarizes present studies on dyslipidemia and its treatment in patients with chronic renal disease.Recent findingsThe specific dyslipidemia in renal disease is associated with the presence of proteinuria and decreased creatinine clearance, and may even adversely affect the progression of chronic renal disease. Statin therapy may have renoprotective effects due to a combination of lipid lowering and pleiotropic effects. Statins exert several anti-inflammatory properties and lead to a decrease of proteinuria. Post-hoc analyses of large-scale lipid lowering trials have shown that the reduction of cardiovascular risk was equivalent to the reduction achieved in patients without chronic renal failure. We feel, however, that if intervention with statins is postponed until patients reach end-stage renal disease, statins have limited benefit.SummaryPresent studies suggest that patients with renal disease should be screened early for dyslipidemia and that statins have to be considered as the lipid lowering therapy of choice. These drugs reduce cardiovascular risk. Further studies are needed to firmly establish whether statins preserve renal function.

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