A large study, published in the American Journal of Cardiology has found that statins increase the risk of kidney disease by 30 - 36%.
The study included 43,000 people, with a median 6.4 year follow up. This follow up time is important because statin trials are typically only around 4 years in duration, and in some cases less than 3 years duration. So this new study gives us a rare insight into what happens in the real world with long-term statin use.
Acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, and nephritis/nephrosis/renal sclerosis were increased in those who took statins.
Amazingly, one of the lead authors, Dr Ishak A Mansi, said: "patients who are taking statins should not stop taking them based on this study". Probably, the study could not have been published if this comment was not included. Those people who follow this subject will know that this is a standard line printed in just about every statin study regardless of the actual data or outcomes.
The authors did also say that there is an urgent need for more longer-term studies like this one in order to know what statins are really doing to people in the long term.
Also amazingly, at the same time, the United States Preventative Services Task Force has just come out officially stating their support for the widespread use of statins for people with low risk of heart disease. This task force did not mention the increased kidney disease, or the increase in arterial plaques, or the increased diabetes risks...etc., associated with statin use.