Statins Proving Toxic for Sufferers of Chronic Kidney Disease


Patients with kidney disease are being routinely over-prescribed statins that they do not need and which may be causing them serious health implications, a cross-study review has shown. The findings, published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, researched several studies and found a worrying trend for patients in the advanced stages of the disease.

Large numbers of kidney disease sufferers are routinely prescribed statins to lower their cholesterol and the thinking behind this makes sense- people with kidney disease are 23 times more likely to get cardiovascular disease than a non-sufferer and elevated cholesterol levels have been linked to the onset and progression of cardiovascular disorders. So far, so logical. However, the shocking reality is that patients have been shown to not be benefitting from their statins medication and that taking them may actually be increasing their risk of diabetes, dementia or severe muscle pain (rhabdomyolysis).

Chronic kidney disease is rising in the US at an alarming rate, a precedent that Europe looks set to follow over the coming years. The leading cause of death in sufferers is cardiovascular disease. Statins have been shown to provide little to no benefit in patients with early-onset kidney disease; latter-stage patients have actually reported toxic effects as their kidneys struggle to process the medication.

Ali Olyaei, professor of Pharmacology at the College of Pharmacology, Oregon State University, conducted the research and has said that it is obvious that statins are doing nothing for kidney disease patients. Doctors are encouraged to look at other medications to tackle high-cholesterol in kidney disease patients and to only prescribe low-doses of statins if they need to.

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Kidney image provided courtesy of


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