Background: Arterial stiffness assessed by pulse wave velocity (PWV) predicts all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease. We studied the preventive effects of a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor, fluvastatin, on arterial PWV values in this population.
Methods: Twenty-two patients with normal serum lipid levels received fluvastatin (20 mg/day p.o.) or a placebo for 6 months. Their serum lipid levels, serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), arterial PWV, and ankle brachial indexes (ABI) were determined before, and 3 and 6 months after taking the medication to evaluate arterial stiffness.
Results: At the beginning of the follow-up, there were no differences in age, blood pressure, body mass index, serum haemoglobin A1c level, serum CRP level, serum lipid levels, PWV or ABI between the placebo- (n=10) and the fluvastatin-treated patients (n=12). After 6 months, the PWV and the serum oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level increased significantly (from 1969+/-140 to 2326+/-190 cm/s and 70.4+/-13.8 to 91.8+/-15.5 U/l, respectively) in the placebo-treated patients. However, the fluvastatin group had a significantly reduced PWV (from 1991+/-162 to 1709+/-134 cm/s), oxidized LDL-C serum levels (from 89.0+/-9.6 to 73.0+/-5.8 U/l) and CRP serum levels (from 0.97+/-0.32 to 0.26+/-0.16 mg/dl) compared with those in the placebo group.
Conclusions: Long-term administration of fluvastatin prevents further worsening of arterial biomechanics in haemodialysis patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, even in the presence of serum lipid levels in the normal range.