Benefit of Ezetimibe Added to Simvastatin in Reduced Kidney Function

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Oct;28(10):3034-3043. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2016090957. Epub 2017 May 15.


Efficacy of statin-based therapies in reducing cardiovascular mortality in individuals with CKD seems to diminish as eGFR declines. The strongest evidence supporting the cardiovascular benefit of statins in individuals with CKD was shown with ezetimibe plus simvastatin versus placebo. However, whether combination therapy or statin alone resulted in cardiovascular benefit is uncertain. Therefore, we estimated GFR in 18,015 individuals from the IMPROVE-IT (ezetimibe plus simvastatin versus simvastatin alone in individuals with cardiovascular disease and creatinine clearance >30 ml/min) and examined post hoc the relationship of eGFR with end points across treatment arms. For the primary end point of cardiovascular death, major coronary event, or nonfatal stroke, the relative risk reduction of combination therapy compared with monotherapy differed by eGFR (P=0.04). The difference in treatment effect was observed at eGFR≤75 ml/min per 1.73 m2 and most apparent at levels ≤60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 Compared with individuals receiving monotherapy, individuals receiving combination therapy with a baseline eGFR of 60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 experienced a 12% risk reduction (hazard ratio [HR], 0.88; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.82 to 0.95); those with a baseline eGFR of 45 ml/min per 1.73 m2 had a 13% risk reduction (HR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.78 to 0.98). In stabilized individuals within 10 days of acute coronary syndrome, combination therapy seemed to be more effective than monotherapy in individuals with moderately reduced eGFR (30-60 ml/min per 1.73 m2). Further studies examining potential benefits of combination lipid-lowering therapy in individuals with CKD are needed.

Keywords: cardiovascular; chronic kidney disease; lipids; statins.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Ezetimibe / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications
  • Simvastatin / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Simvastatin
  • Ezetimibe