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Statins May Protect Against Kidney Stones

In patients with hyperlipidemia, statins might reduce the risk for kidney stone formation, according to a retrospective study. But, for some experts, the results are not enough to prompt the prophylactic use of the lipid-lowering drugs.

Dr Cohen and his colleagues at the North Shore University Health System used the electronic medical records system to review data on more than 101,250 patients diagnosed with hyperlipidemia. On univariate analysis, the statin users were significantly less likely to develop new stones than the nonusers (3.8% vs 4.7%; P < .01). Multivariate analysis, adjusted for age, race, body mass index, sex, and comorbidities, confirmed the protective effect of statins on new stones (odds ratio 0.57; P < .01).

The study also confirmed other risk factors for stone development, such as being overweight, being black, being older, having osteoporosis, and having a thiazide prescription.

When the researchers looked at the relation between lipids in the blood and the risk for future kidney stones, only elevated triglyceride levels were found to be a risk factor for the development of a stone in nonusers of statins, he reported. There was no association between elevated LDL or total cholesterol and nephrolithiasis.