A full lipid (cholesterol) profile is strongly recommended for all patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), according to a new guideline developed by the working group, Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) organization, led by Dr. Christoph Wanner, University Hospital Wurzburg (Germany). Typically a simple blood test, checking your cholesterol levels is a very easy way that may reduce your risk of a major Cardiovascular Event (heart attack, stroke, or death). However, as of now, this is not often done for those with CKD.
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“No direct evidence indicates that measuring lipid status will lead to better clinical outcomes,” the guideline states. “However, measuring lipid status is noninvasive, inexpensive, and might improve the health of people with secondary dyslipidemia [high cholesterol].” In the judgment of the working group, “these considerations justify a strong recommendation..."
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The working group also suggested that statin drugs (used to lower cholesterol levels) alone or in combination with ezetimibe (medication to assist high cholesterol treatment) not be initiated in dialysis patients. This is due to the fact that three large trials have failed to show a conclusive benefit of statin treatment among dialysis patients. Although findings are still debated, most would agree that even if statins do prevent cardiovascular events in dialysis patients, the magnitude of any relative reduction when compared to health risks of the statin itself is "substantially smaller than in early stages of CKD."
The guideline, which was published in Kidney International, further notes that patients already receiving statins or a statin/ezetimibe combination at the time of dialysis initiation should continue to receive these agents.
Not all Nephrologists have adopted this new guideline and most major news outlets have not even covered this change. That is why people with CKD, especially those treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation, should come by KidneyBuzz.com daily to learn how to better manage their lives with coverage you may not come across anywhere else. In this case follow-up with your Nephrologists to ensure that they have conducted your full lipid profile to buffer against Cardiovascular events.
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Jody A. Charnow. "New Guideline Urges Lipid Measurements for All CKD Patients." Renalandurologynews.com. Renal & Urology News.