A higher strength of cholesterol-lowering drugs, or statins, did not increase the risk of kidney injury among heart attack survivors, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Emerging Science Series Webinar.
Statins have been shown to reduce the risk of a first or recurrent heart attack, but recent observational studies suggest that high doses may be linked to a higher incidence of kidney injury. In this study, researchers analyzed data from two large clinical trials in which survivors were randomly assigned to receive either high- or low-dose statins. Higher strenght statins did not increase the risk of hospitalizations with kidney injury when compared to low-dose statins. In addition, concentrations of a blood protein, called creatinine, which reflects kidney function were comparable between the two groups during follow-up.
"These findings provide important reassurance to clinicians that the use of some high-potency statins will not increase the risk of kidney injury," said Amy Sarma, M.D., M.H.S., the study's lead author and a resident physician in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass.