Kidney Disease (CKD) is a condition that causes slow loss of kidney function
over time, taking months or years to develop. CKD is associated with an
increased risk of heart disease; yet prevention of heart disease in patients
with CKD continues to be a less researched area.
cholesterol levels serve as the prime cause for vascular events that ultimately
result in heart disease. LDL cholesterol or 'bad cholesterol' is the worst
agent responsible for the pathology. A number of
drugs are available to fight high cholesterol levels. Statins are the most
effective drugs available for reducing LDL levels, and work by inhibiting key
enzymes in the synthesis of LDL. Simvastatin is a commonly used statin. Another
drug called ezetimibe, which aids in fighting bad cholesterol, works by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in the small
recent study evaluated the use of a combination of simvastatin and ezetimibe in
patients with chronic kidney disease. Results were published in the Lancet
, a leading medical journal. The trial known as SHARP
(Study of Heart and Renal Protection)
aimed at assessing the safety and efficacy of
reducing LDL cholesterol in more than 9000 patients with chronic kidney
Researchers concluded that simvastatin
20 mg plus ezetimibe 10 mg daily
in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease
reduced the incidence of angioplasty or and of major diseases affecting the
heart or blood vessels such as heart attack (myocardial infarction) and stroke.
Though the study results are not
totally conclusive, a great significance can be attached to it. A reduction in
heart disease complications in high risk patients like those with chronic
kidney disease is definitely desirable.
The effects of lowering LDL
cholesterol with simvastatin plus ezetimibe in patients with chronic kidney
disease (Study of Heart and Renal Protection): a randomised placebo-controlled
trial; Colin Baigent et al;The Lancet, Volume 377, Issue 9784, Pages 2181 -
2192, 25 June 2011.