News

People with chronic kidney disease should be offered statins, say experts

More than two million people with kidney disease should be offered statins to help combat their risk of heart attacks and stroke, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says.
Atorvastatin

More than two million people with kidney disease should be offered statins to help combat their risk of heart attacks and stroke, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says

A new quality standard from NICE states that people aged 18 or over in England with chronic kidney disease (CKD) should be offered statins as a way of managing their increased risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, stroke, coronary heart disease and angina. People with CKD have a higher risk of these conditions.

Nurses and other health professionals including GPs, nephrologists and cardiologists should also check whether patients with CKD are taking statins and discuss the risks and benefits of starting statin therapy if not, according to the guidance.

They should be offered 20mg of the 'high-intensity'

More than two million people with kidney disease should be offered statins to help combat their risk of heart attacks and stroke, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says

Atorvastatin
Statins, specifically atorvastatin, can help manage risk of cardiovascular disease. Picture: iStock

A new quality standard from NICE states that people aged 18 or over in England with chronic kidney disease (CKD) should be offered statins as a way of managing their increased risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, stroke, coronary heart disease and angina. People with CKD have a higher risk of these conditions.

Nurses and other health professionals including GPs, nephrologists and cardiologists should also check whether patients with CKD are taking statins and discuss the risks and benefits of starting statin therapy if not, according to the guidance.

They should be offered 20mg of the 'high-intensity' statin of atorvastatin. If their cholesterol level does not decrease enough, they may be put on a higher dose.

If there are any side effects, patients may be asked to stop taking it for a while to check they are caused by the statin. Their doctor might then discuss reducing the dose or changing to a different statin.

Quality standard

Figures from Public Health England estimate around 2.6 million people aged 16 or over in England have CKD – the equivalent of around 6.1% of the population of this age group.

The NICE quality standard also offers new guidance to nurses and other health professionals on how to help patients with CKD keep their blood pressure in a normal range .

It also states that adults who have CKD, or who are at risk of CKD, should have their key markers of kidney function monitored. This enables earlier diagnosis and early action to reduce the risks of CKD progression, NICE said.

Kidney Care UK policy director Fiona Loud said: 'We believe that offering statin therapy to reduce cardiovascular risks such as heart attack or stroke, should be done as part of a shared and informed decision with patients.

'We welcome this guidance because the recent CKD audit highlighted that this is not happening consistently across the country right now.'


Further information


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs