Kidney Disease: Low Statin Use Puts a High Risk for CV Disease
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Study Finds Low Statin Use Among Kidney Disease Patients at High Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Illustration of kidneys
MAYWOOD, IL – 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, PhD, 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.
About three-fourths of patients who had kidney disease plus cardiovascular disease or diabetes used statins. But in the absence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or high cholesterol, statin use was only 21.8 percent. This finding is concerning because about 90 percent of such patients have at least a 10 percent risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years, and this risk could be reduced by taking statins. Statin use also is believed to be low in patients outside the VA.
The study is titled "Low statin use in nondialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease in the absence of clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular."

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.