May 22, 2013
Statin Use Helps Prevent Kidney Stones, Especially in Women

San Diego—A new study suggests that a statin prescription, along with dietary modification and increased exercise, be considered for prevention of kidney stones in patients with hyperlipidemia.

The study, abstract 2091 presented at an American Urological Association meeting, found that statins reduced the incidence of nephrolithiasis by 50% for women and 25% for men, even after adjusting for prescribed hydrochlorothiazide and potassium citrate.
“Women prescribed statins had a significant decrease in stones compared to men,” according to the abstract of the study, which was presented by James Masterson, MD, of the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. “This analysis suggests that HLD patients with stone disease should consider treatment with statin medications in addition to dietary modification and increased exercise.”

Researchers noted that vascular etiology has been proposed to be a contributor to stone formation. Because statin medications reduce atherosclerosis, they posited, hyperlipidemic patients on statins should theoretically have reduced nephrolithiasis.

To investigate that theory, researchers retrospectively selected the first 5,000 outpatient encounters from each month in the year 2000 at their medical center.

Demographics, comorbidities, and incident nephrolithiasis were recorded for 7,742 HLD patients, 4,099 men and 3,643 women, whose records were analyzed through 2012. Information on whether patients were prescribed a statin medication, hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), or potassium citrate also was gathered.

Stone formation rate was calculated for patients on statin medications versus patients not on statin medications, according to the authors, who said they created a cohort of patients not taking HCTZ or potassium citrate and analyzed those separately.

The risk of nephrolithiasis in HLD patients treated with statins was OR = 0.67 (P < 0.001) [OR = 0.81 (P = 0.194) for men; OR = 0.53 (P < 0.001) for women]. After excluding any patient with HCTZ or potassium citrate use, the risk of nephrolithiasis in HLD patients treated with statins was OR = 0.63 (P = 0.001) [OR = 0.75 (P = 0.144) for men; OR = 0.50 (P = 0.001) for women].

U.S. Pharmacist Social Connect