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High Cholesterol Linked With Risk of Kidney Problems in Healthy

In a study of more than 4000 subjects, elevated cholesterol levels were found to be associated with an increased risk of renal dysfunction in apparently healthy men

In the August issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Dr. Tobias Kurth of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and colleagues note that "despite extensive knowledge about abnormal lipid patterns in patients with end-stage renal disease, the association between cholesterol and the development of renal dysfunction is unclear."

To investigate, the researchers examined pairs of blood samples collected a mean of 14.2 years apart from 4483 initially healthy men.
Overall at follow-up, 134 (3.0%) showed elevated creatinine (1.5 mg/dL or more) and 244 (5.4%) had reduced creatinine clearance (55 mL/min or less).

Dr. Kurth’s group found that "men with HDL cholesterol of less than 40 mg/dL, elevated non-HDL cholesterol…and an elevated cholesterol/HDL ratio…had a twofold risk of renal insufficiency after adjustment for other risk factors."

The researchers also detected "similar but smaller" associations between cholesterol parameters and reduced creatinine clearance.
Controlling abnormal cholesterol levels in healthy individuals, with a healthy diet, might help to keep the kidney healthy. Furthermore, people at high risk for kidney dysfunction and an abnormal cholesterol profile should discuss the use of lipid lowering drugs with their treating physician. J Am Soc Nephrol 2003;14:00-00.

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