MUNICH, GERMANY—Atorvastatin may benefit hemodialysis (HD) patients with type 2 diabetes and high LDL cholesterol levels, a researcher reported at the the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association 2010 Congress.

The researcher, Winfried März, MD, of the University of Heidelberg in Mannheim, Germany, and his colleagues made the discovery after conducting a post-hoc analysis of the 4D (Die Deutsche Diabetes Dialyse) study, which had randomized HD patients with type 2 diabetes to receive either atorvastatin or placebo. The original study showed that the statin did not confer any cardiovascular or survival benefit.

For the post-hoc analysis, Dr. März´s team divided subjects into quartiles of LDL cholesterol.

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Among patients in the highest quartile (greater than 145 mg/dL), atorvastatin treatment was associated with a 46% decreased risk of all cardiovascular endpoints combined, a 52% decreased risk of sudden cardiac death, and a 28% decreased risk of all-cause mortality, Dr. März told listeners.

He calculated that clinicians would need to treat three patients for five years to prevent one major cardiovascular event, which he said is an encouraging finding.

He concluded that atorvastatin treatment should be considered for hemodialysis patients who have type 2 diabetes and LDL cholesterol levels above 145 mg/dL.