Common statin drug is linked to kidney damage, study finds

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A recent study has found that taking rosuvastatin, a common cholesterol-lowering medication, may increase the risk of kidney problems when compared to another similar medication called atorvastatin.

The research highlights the importance of understanding the potential risks associated with different medications, especially for people with kidney issues.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance in our blood that, when too high, can lead to heart problems. Medications like rosuvastatin and atorvastatin are often prescribed to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

However, the effects of these medications on other parts of our body, like the kidneys, are still being studied.

The Study

Researchers looked at the medical records of over 900,000 people who had recently started taking either rosuvastatin or atorvastatin. They wanted to see if there were any differences in how these medications affected the kidneys.


Increased Kidney Problems: The study found that people taking rosuvastatin were more likely to experience kidney problems compared to those taking atorvastatin.

These problems included issues like blood in the urine (hematuria), protein in the urine (proteinuria), and even the need for kidney replacement therapy (KFRT). In simple terms, it means that rosuvastatin might not be as good for your kidneys as atorvastatin.

Dose Matters: Surprisingly, the study also showed that the higher the dose of rosuvastatin people took, the more likely they were to have kidney problems. This suggests that the amount of rosuvastatin you take may affect your kidney health.

What You Should Know

Cholesterol Medications: Rosuvastatin and atorvastatin are both medications used to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. They are prescribed to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Kidney Health: The kidneys are vital organs that help filter waste from the blood and maintain overall health. It’s important to take care of them.

Medication Choices: If you’re taking cholesterol-lowering medications, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about the options and any potential risks, especially if you have kidney issues.


While rosuvastatin and atorvastatin are effective at lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease, this study suggests that rosuvastatin might have some downsides when it comes to kidney health.

It’s essential to discuss your medication choices with your healthcare provider, especially if you have kidney problems or concerns about your treatment.

They can help you make an informed decision about the best medication for your unique situation and health needs. Remember, always follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to your medications and overall health.

If you care about kidney health, please read studies about drug that prevents kidney failure in diabetes, and drinking coffee could help reduce risk of kidney injury.

For more information about kidney health, please see recent studies about foods that may prevent recurrence of kidney stones, and common painkillers may harm heart, kidneys and more.

The research findings can be found in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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