Before a major surgery, taking a statin reduces serious kidney complications, reports a study based on information of older patients in Canada who have gone through major surgeries.
Among the 230 million major elective surgeries carried out around the world, a large percentage of patients develop kidney problems due to decreased blood flow to the kidneys or because of the effects of inflammation.
Amber Molnar of the University of Western Ontario, and colleagues conducted a population-based retrospective study of all older patients. To determine whether the success the researchers had with mice could be repeated with humans, they conducted a population-based retrospective study of all older patients who underwent major elective surgery in the province of Ontario, Canada from 1995 to 2008. Surgeries included cardiac, thoracic, vascular, intra-abdominal, and retroperitoneal procedures.
The researchers discovered that patients taking a statin were 20 percent less likely to develop kidney injury, need dialysis, and die compared to patients who were not taking a statin. Also, when patients took higher potency statins they have less kidney injury.
"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 Molnar. But he cautioned that the results warrant further investigation with more rigorous studies.