Effect of statins on chronic inflammation and nutrition status in renal dialysis patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Nephrology (Carlton). 2012 Aug;17(6):545-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1797.2012.01597.x.


Aim: 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins) may have an adjunctive effect on chronic inflammation and nutrition status in renal dialysis patients. Therefore, we performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials to assess the effect of statins on chronic inflammation and nutrition status in dialysis patients.

Methods: The randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of statins versus placebo or no treatment for renal dialysis patients were searched from PubMed, EMbase and Cochran Central Register of Controlled Trials. We screened relevant studies according to predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria, evaluated the quality of the included studies, and performed meta-analyses by using the Cochrane Collaboration's Revman 5.1 software.

Results: We identified nine trials including 3098 patients. Meta-analysis showed statins can significantly decrease the serum C-reactive protein (CRP) (SMD, -0.54; 95% confidence interval (CI), -1.04 to -0.05; P = 0.03) and high sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) level (SMD, -0.72; 95% CI, -1.14 to -0.31; P = 0.0007) of dialysis patients compared with that of the control group. However, statins did not differ significantly from the control group in increasing the serum Alb level (SMD, -0.13; 95% CI, -0.42 to 0.15; P = 0.37).

Conclusions: Statins can improve the chronic inflammation status reflected by the decreasing of serum CRP and hs-CRP levels, whereas there is no conclusive evidence that it can improve the nutrition status. However, this result needs to be further confirmed in more high-quality randomized clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / immunology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status / drug effects*
  • Prealbumin / metabolism
  • Renal Dialysis* / adverse effects
  • Serum Albumin / metabolism
  • Serum Albumin, Human
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • ALB protein, human
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-6
  • Prealbumin
  • Serum Albumin
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Serum Albumin, Human