Friday, 10 June 2011

Vytorin Lowers Heart Disease Risk in Kidney Patients

Vytorin, a drug used for lowering cholesterol levels, has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease among kidney patients by up to 25 percent, according to the results obtained by Oxford University research scientists who carried out the research on a group of 9,270 kidney disease patients, with the work starting in 2003.

The measured improvement was 17% but many patients were not on the drug for the entire test period, and the researchers estimate that the improvement would have been 25% if they had.

Patients with chronic kidney disease are at high risk of suffering a heart attack. Lowering the LDL levels (the so-called bad cholesterol) reduces the risks for healthy people, but this latest study shows it works very well for chronic kidney disease patients too, reports Dr. Colin Baigent of Oxford University, in the June 9th online version of The Lancet

Vytorin is a low statin drug (statins are not processed well by kidney patients) combined with Zetia (ezetimibe). The research was funded in part by the drug's manufacturer, Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals.

While this will not cure any kidney disease, it reduces the problem of death from a secondary cause. Given that it is estimated that 10% of people have some form of kidney disease, the research is considered to have major implications in improcing health and life-span.