Statin therapy may improve survival and slow renal function decline in patients with atherosclerotic renovascular disease (ARD), researchers reported in the American Journal of Hypertension (2008;21:1163-1168).

Investigators at São Paulo State University in Brazil and Boston University examined overall and renal survival (time to doubling of serum creatinine or end-stage renal disease) over an 11-year period in 104 ARD patients.

Sixty-eight patients received statin treatment because of elevated lipid levels and 36 did not because they had normal lipid levels. Among statin recipients, 7.4% reached the renal end points and 5.9% died; among patients not treated with statins, the percentages were 38.9% and 36.1%, respectively.

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The mean overall and renal survival was 123 and 122 months, respectively, for statin users compared with 33 and 27 months for the nonusers. At the end of the study, both groups had similar lipid profiles.

Lead investigator Haralambos Gavras, MD, hypertension section chief in the department of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, observed that other baseline variations between the two groups no doubt contributed to the different outcomes, but “the results suggest that statins may have benefits beyond their lipid-lowering effect. Prospective controlled trials should be conducted to confirm or refute this.”