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Renal benefits for high-dose statins

Aggressively forcing down cholesterol levels with high-dose statins has significant benefits for the kidneys, results from a major trial reveal.

A new analysis of the Treating to New Targets study found high doses of atorvastatin significantly improved renal function in patients with coronary heart disease.

Experts hailed the results as 'very exciting' and the research-ers urged GPs to treat patients to well beyond established cholesterol targets.

In patients treated with 80mg atorvastatin, mean creatinine clearance increased by 2.7ml/min, compared with a rise of 1.1ml/min in those on 10mg atorvastatin.

Clearance improved to greater than 60ml/min in significant-ly more patients on 80 than on 10mg and declined below 60ml/min in significantly fewer.

Study leader Professor James Shepherd, head of pathological biochemistry at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the University of Glasgow, said 'a lot' of patients would stand to benefit from high-dose statins.

'The surprise was the lower you take LDL the better. If you take it below the current target recommendations there's still improvement,' he said.

'The message is if you have a patient with elevated cholester-ol you have to strive to get them to target and below target.'

Dr Adrian Brady, consultant cardiologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said: 'These results are very exciting. It's more data supporting the importance of high-dose statins.'

The research, presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Atlanta this week, analysed data on more than 10,000 CHD patients.

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