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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2003 Jun;14(6):1605-13.

Effect of pravastatin on loss of renal function in people with moderate chronic renal insufficiency and cardiovascular disease.

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  • 1University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Limited data suggest that HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) may slow loss of renal function in individuals with chronic renal insufficiency. This study was conducted to determine whether pravastatin reduced rates of loss of renal function in people with moderate chronic renal insufficiency. This was a post hoc subgroup analysis of a randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial. Data were analyzed from the CARE study (a randomized trial of pravastatin versus placebo in 4159 participants with previous myocardial infarction and total plasma cholesterol < 240 mg/dl). Participants with estimated GFR (MDRD-GFR) < 60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) body surface area at baseline were considered to have moderate chronic renal insufficiency. Multivariate regression was used to calculate rates of decline in MDRD-GFR for individuals receiving pravastatin and placebo, controlling for prospectively determined covariates that might influence rates of renal function loss. Change in renal function could be calculated in 3384 individuals, of whom 690 (20.4%) had MDRD-GFR < 60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) and were eligible for inclusion. Among all individuals with MDRD-GFR < 60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)), the MDRD-GFR decline in the pravastatin group was not significantly different from that in the placebo group (0.1 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)/yr slower; 95% CI, -0.2 to 0.4; P = 0.49). However, there was a significant stepwise inverse relation between MDRD-GFR before treatment and slowing of renal function loss with pravastatin use, with more benefit in those with lower MDRD-GFR at baseline (P = 0.04). Rate of change in MDRD-GFR in the pravastatin group was 0.6 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)/yr slower than placebo (95% CI, -0.1 to 1.2; P = 0.07) in those with MDRD-GFR < 50 ml/min, and 2.5 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)/yr slower (95% CI, 1.4 to 3.6 slower; P = 0.0001) in those with MDRD-GFR < 40 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)/yr. Pravastatin also reduced rates of renal loss to a greater extent in participants with than without proteinuria at baseline (P = 0.006). It is concluded that pravastatin may slow renal function loss in individuals with moderate to severe kidney disease, especially those with proteinuria. These findings require confirmation by a large randomized trial conducted specifically in people with chronic renal insufficiency.

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