Effect of lipid reduction on the progression of renal disease: a meta-analysis

Kidney Int. 2001 Jan;59(1):260-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1755.2001.00487.x.


Background: It has been proposed that hyperlipidemia contributes to the progression of renal disease. A large trial has not been performed; however, a number of small, controlled trials have been reported. We examined the effects of antilipemic agents on glomerular filtration rate and proteinuria or albuminuria in patients with renal disease.

Methods: We used Medline, abstracts from scientific meetings, and bibliographies from recent reviews and scientific reports to locate pertinent studies. Thirteen prospective controlled trials examining the effects of antilipemic agents on renal function, proteinuria, or albuminuria were included. Studies were published as full reports or abstracts and were at least three months in duration. For five of the studies, individual patient data were obtained. Other summary data were independently extracted from the published reports by two investigators and included study quality, subject characteristics, cause of renal disease, change in serum cholesterol, blood pressure, glomerular filtration rate, proteinuria, and albuminuria.

Results: There was a lower rate of decline in glomerular filtration rate with treatment compared with controls (treated controls, 0.156 mL/min/month; 95% CI, 0.026 to 0. 285 mL/min/month, P = 0.008). The study results were statistically homogeneous, and in a regression analysis, the effect of treatment on glomerular filtration rate did not correlate with study quality, the percentage change in cholesterol, the type of lipid-lowering agent, or the cause of renal disease. However, longer follow-up correlated with the amount of improvement in glomerular filtration rate from treatment (P = 0.007). There was a tendency for a favorable effect of treatment on protein or albumin excretion [Ln (treatment) - Ln (control) = -0.248, 95% CI, -0.562 to 0.064, P = 0. 077]. However, these results were statistically heterogeneous between studies (P < 0.001). No obvious explanation for this heterogeneity was apparent in a regression analysis examining potential reasons for differences in study results.

Conclusions: Lipid reduction may preserve glomerular filtration rate and may decrease proteinuria in patients with renal disease.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease Progression
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney Diseases / blood
  • Kidney Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Diseases / urine
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proteinuria / urine


  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Lipids