Effect of extended-release niacin on cardiovascular events and kidney function in chronic kidney disease: a post hoc analysis of the AIM-HIGH trial

Kidney Int. 2015 Jun;87(6):1250-7. doi: 10.1038/ki.2014.383. Epub 2015 Feb 4.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients is strongly associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and prevalent abnormal lipid metabolism. The AIM-HIGH trial examined the benefits of adding extended-release niacin (ERN) to simvastatin in patients with established coronary heart disease. Here we conducted a post hoc analysis of the AIM-HIGH trial examining whether participants derived cardiovascular or renal benefits when stratified by renal function. Of 3414 participants, 505 had stage 3 CKD at baseline. Among the CKD subset, demographics and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors were well balanced in the ERN and placebo arms. Compared with placebo, CKD participants receiving ERN had a significant decrease in triglycerides by a median of 59.0 mg/dl, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol significantly increased by a mean of 11.3 mg/dl over a mean follow-up of 3 years. CVD events were similar between CKD participants in both arms. However, all-cause mortality was significantly higher in the ERN group (hazard ratio of 1.73). Mean change in eGFR among ERN-treated CKD participants was not significantly different between study arms. Thus, among AIM-HIGH participants with CKD, the addition of ERN to simvastatin for secondary prevention of CVD improved triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations but did not improve cardiovascular outcomes or kidney function, and was associated with higher all-cause mortality.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cause of Death
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Niacin / therapeutic use*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / mortality
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Secondary Prevention / methods
  • Simvastatin / therapeutic use
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Triglycerides
  • Niacin
  • Simvastatin