Initiating a statin prior to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery may modestly reduce the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) post-CABG, especially in patients less than 65 years old, researchers reported in The American Journal of Cardiology (2013;111:823-828).

J. Bradley Layton, PhD, of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues used an epidemiological approach to estimate the effect of initiating statin pre-operatively on AKI after CABG.

Of the 17,077 CABG patients identified, post-CABG AKI developed in 3.4% of patients who started statin therapy preoperatively and 6.2% of patients who did not. After adjusting for confounders, statin use was associated with a 22% decreased risk of AKI in the study population overall, a 38% decreased risk among patients younger than 65, and a 9% decreased risk among those aged 65 and older.

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“Our study supports the hypothesis that prescribing a statin before CABG in those not already receiving statin therapy may modestly attenuate the incidence of post-CABG AKI, particularly among younger patients,” the authors wrote.