Effects of atorvastatin on lipid profile and non-traditional cardiovascular risk factors in diabetic patients on hemodialysis

Nephron Clin Pract. 2003;95(4):c128-35. doi: 10.1159/000074838.


Background/aims: Dyslipidemia and non-traditional cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, such as lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)), homocysteine, oxidative stress and inflammation, are important determinants in the increased CV risk of hemodialysis (HD) patients. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of atorvastatin on these parameters in one of the groups with the highest CV risk: diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease under HD therapy.

Methods: Twenty maintenance HD diabetic patients (mean age 64 +/- 10 years, mean time on HD 25 +/- 11 months) with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) >2.59 mmol/l received atorvastatin (10 mg/day) for 4 months. Lipid profile, including total cholesterol (TC), LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), apolipoproteins A1 and B (Apo-A and Apo-B), and the non-traditional risk factors Lp(a), homocysteine, autoantibodies against oxidized LDL-C (anti-LDLox), total antioxidant status (TAS), and high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), were measured at baseline and at the end of the study. Safety was assessed by clinical and laboratory (liver and muscle enzymes) monitoring once a month.

Results: Mean percent reductions for TC, LDL-C and TG were 18.5% (p < 0.001), 22% (p < 0.001) and 19% (p < 0.01), respectively. The ratios of TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C decreased after treatment (p < 0.05), whereas the ratios of LDL-C/Apo-B (p < 0.01) and Apo-A/Apo-B (p < 0.001) increased. No significant changes were observed in HDL-C. Concerning the non-traditional risk factors, levels of homocysteine, Lp(a), anti-LDLox and TAS did not change significantly. However, hs-CRP decreased from 5.4 (range 0.9-67.8) to 2.3 mg/l (range 0.4-21) (p < 0.01), whereas a concomitant increase in serum albumin was observed (from 38 +/- 2 to 40 +/- 1.7 g/l, p < 0.01). At baseline, hs-CRP was inversely associated with HDL-C and Apo-A, and directly related to Lp(a). The change in hs-CRP was inversely associated with the change of HDL-C, whereas a direct correlation was found with the change of TG.

Conclusions: Atorvastatin administration to diabetic patients on HD is associated with improvement of lipid profile and reduction of hs-CRP. These effects may be critical for the reduction of CV risk and mortality in HD population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Atorvastatin
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Female
  • Heptanoic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Heptanoic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Homocysteine / blood
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / immunology
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pyrroles / pharmacology*
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Risk Factors


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Pyrroles
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • Homocysteine
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Atorvastatin