Journal Article

Beneficial effect of early initiation of lipid-lowering therapy following renal transplantation

Hallvard Holdaas, Bengt Fellström, Alan G. Jardine, Gudrun Nyberg, Carola Grönhagen-Riska, Sören Madsen, Hans-Hellmut Neumayer, Edward Cole, Bart Maes, Patrice Ambühl, John O. Logan, Beatrix Staffler and Claudio Gimpelewicz

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 20, issue 5, pages 974-980
Published in print May 2005 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Beneficial effect of early initiation of lipid-lowering therapy following renal transplantation

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Background. Renal transplant recipients have a significantly reduced life expectancy, largely due to premature cardiovascular disease. The aim of the current analysis was to investigate the importance of time of initiation of therapy after transplantation, on the benefits of statin therapy.

Methods. 2102 renal transplant recipients with total cholesterol levels of 4.0–9.0 mmol/l were randomly assigned to treatment with fluvastatin (n = 1050) or placebo (n = 1052) and followed for a mean time of 5.1 years. The end-points were major cardiac events. The average median time from transplantation to randomization was 4.5 years (range: 0.5–29 years).

Results. In patients starting treatment with fluvastatin <4.5 years after renal transplantation, the incidence of cardiac events was 4.6% over 5.1 years vs 9.2% in those on placebo (P = 0.007). Fluvastatin significantly reduced the risk of cardiac death and non-fatal myocardial infarction by 56% [risk ratio (RR): 0.44; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.26–0.74; P = 0.002]. In a more detailed analysis patients were grouped into 2-year intervals (since the last transplantation). The frequency of cardiac death and non-fatal myocardial infarction was reduced by 3.2%, 5.1%, 9.6% and 8.2% with fluvastatin treatment as compared to 6%, 10.4%, 13.4% and 9.6% with placebo when treatment was initiated at 0–2, 2–4, 4–6 and >6 years, respectively. The risk reduction for patients initiating therapy with fluvastatin at years 0–2 (compared with >6 years) following transplantation was 59% (RR: 0.41; 95% CI: 0.18–0.92; P = 0.0328). This is also reflected in total time on renal replacement therapy: in patients in the first quartile (<47 months) fluvastatin use was associated with a risk reduction of 64% compared with 19% for patients in the fourth quartile (>120 months) (P = 0.033).

Conclusions. Our data support an early introduction of fluvastatin therapy in a population of transplant recipients at high risk of premature coronary heart disease.

Keywords: cardiac end-points; fluvastatin; renal transplant recipients

Journal Article.  3245 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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