Simvastatin is safe and effective for the secondary prevention of all-cause mortality and major cardiac events in patients with mild chronic renal insufficiency (CRI), according to researchers.

Michel Chonchol, MD, of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, and his colleagues analyzed data from 2,314 patients with mild CRI who participated in the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study. Mild CRI was defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate below 75 mL/min per 1.73 m2.

Of these patients, 1,143 were treated with simvastatin and 1,171 received placebo. After a median follow-up of 65 months, simvastatin-treated patients had a 31% reduced risk of death, 33% reduced risk of major coronary events, and 38% reduced risk of coronary revascularization after adjusting for potential confounders, the researchers reported in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (2007;49:373-382). Simvastatin did not significantly lower the risk of stroke.

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“Because patients with mild chronic renal insufficiency are at high risk of major coronary events, quality of care and prevention efforts in patients with early renal dysfunction should focus on secondary prevention with the use of statins,” the authors wrote.