BMJ Study Finds Link Between High-Dose Statins and Acute Kidney Injury

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acute-kidney-injuryA research study just published in BMJ (British Medical Journal) reported there is a relationship between the use of high potency statin drugs and acute kidney injury.

The researchers analyzed data from 1997 to 2008 for over 2 million patients in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, Drug Safety Monitor reports. The investigators found that patients without previous diagnosis of kidney disease who were prescribed a high-dose statin were 34 percent more likely to be admitted to the hospital for acute kidney injury within 120 days of starting treatment, compared to patients who were prescribed a low-dose statin. Statin drugs are used to lower cholesterol.

According to Drug Safety Monitor, high statin potency was defined as at least 40 milligrams of Zocor (simvastatin), at least 20 milligrams of Lipitor (atorvastatin), and at least 10 milligrams of Crestor (rosuvastatin). The analysis included new statin users, age 40 and older.

Because the analysis shows that the increased risk of kidney injury persists for two years or longer, the researchers are urging physicians to take this risk into consideration when choosing treatment options for their patients, Drug Safety Monitor said.