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Statin prior to major elective surgery can reduce serious kidney injury

December 23, 2015

Prior to surgery, 67,941 patients (32%) were taking a statin. Patients taking a statin were 20% less likely to develop kidney injury, need dialysis, and die compared to patients who were not taking a statin. Also, there was evidence of a dose-effect, with patients on higher potency statins having less kidney injury. In addition, statins were beneficial whether they were started greater than 90 days or less than 30 days prior to surgery.

"Our study suggests that statin use in older persons results in less kidney injury following major elective surgery and reduces the risk of premature death after surgery," said Dr. Molnar. She added that the results warrant further investigation with more rigorous studies, but such trials will be difficult to carry out. "Conducting randomized controlled trials to examine whether statins are protective against definitive renal outcomes, such as acute dialysis, will be logistically challenging given that the need for acute dialysis is a relatively rare event," she said.

Source: American Society of Nephrology