Cholesterol-lowering drugs linked to kidney damage


Statins are so widely prescribed as to be called the Aspirin of the 21st Century, but their benefits are not universal — new evidence suggests that the cholesterol-lowering medication can lead to kidney damage. A study examining the health records of 2 million patients in Canada, the United States and Britain found that people taking a high-strength version of the drug face a small but increased risk of acute kidney injury compared with those taking a weaker version. … This is the inaugural study published by the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies, established in 2011 by Health Canada with a $17.5-million grant over five years and a mandate to evaluate the risks and benefits of drugs on the market in Canada. Thanks to the initiative, the network obtained data on millions of patients, said Samy Suissa, who heads the network out of the Lady Davis Institute at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital where he is director of clinical epidemiology. “We’re very proud to be a part of this.”