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Vytorin Lowers Heart Disease Risk in Large Study of Kidney Patients
Date:6/9/2011

lowering effect as would triple the dose of statin alone."

In this study, the authors focused on a pool of nearly 9,300 male and female chronic kidney disease patients aged 40 and up (with an average age of 62). All were participants in the "Study of Heart and Renal Protection" (SHARP) study, which was conducted over a seven-year period at 380 hospitals spread across 18 countries.

Beginning in 2003, roughly one-third of the patients were already on dialysis at the study's launch. Nearly two-thirds were men, and none had a prior history of heart attack.

About half of the patients were randomly given Vytorin; the other half was given placebo pills.

Patients were tracked for a minimum of four years. The team recorded all instances of heart attack, stroke, vascular procedures, hospitalizations and side effects.

The results: The Vytorin group experienced 17 percent fewer major cardiovascular events, compared with the placebo group.

What's more, because about a third of the Vytorin group failed to take the drug all the time, the researchers calculated that, with 100 percent compliance, Vytorin would actually have lowered the risk for major cardiovascular events by roughly 25 percent.

"This finding has major implications, both for people who are on kidney dialysis, and also the larger group of people who have some stage of kidney disease but have not yet reached the stage where they need dialysis," Baigent said.

"So, this will have ramifications for many, many millions of people," he added, "given the estimated 10 percent of the population that has some form of kidney disease."

Dr. Robert Provenzano, chief of nephrology at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, echoed Baigent's opinion.

"Chronic kidney disease is an epidemic in the world," he said. "As other countries become 'Westernized,' we find the incidence of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal failure increases. We see this in India, and in
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