Background Statins achieve potent LDL lowering in the general population leading to a significant cardiovascular (CV) risk reduction. In renal transplant recipients (RTR) statins are included in treatment guidelines, however, conclusive evidence of improved cardiovascular outcomes has not been uniformly provided and concerns have been raised about simultaneous use of statins and the immunosuppressant cyclosporine. This study aimed to elucidate the effect of statins on a compound CV endpoint, comprised of ischaemic CV events and CV mortality in RTR, with subgroup analysis focussing on cyclosporine users.
Method 622 included RTR (follow-up 5.4 years) were matched based on propensity scores and dichotomized by statin use. Survival analysis was conducted.
Results Cox regression showed that statin use was not significantly associated with the compound CV endpoint in a fully adjusted model (HR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.53-1.24, P = .33). Subgroup analyses in RTR using cyclosporine revealed a strong positive association of statin use with the CV compound outcome in a fully adjusted model (HR = 6.60, 95% CI 1.75-24.9, P = .005). Furthermore, statin use was positively correlated with cyclosporine trough levels (correlation coefficient 0.11, P = .04).
Conclusion In conclusion, statin use does not significantly decrease incident CV events in an overall RTR cohort, but is independently associated with CV-specific mortality and events in cyclosporine using RTR, possibly due to a bilateral pharmacological interaction.