Background: Reducing LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) with statin-based therapy reduces the risk of major atherosclerotic events among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), with no evidence of an excess risk of cancer or death from any non-vascular cause. However, non-randomized data have suggested that statin therapy may have effects (both adverse and beneficial) on particular non-vascular conditions that do not cause death.
Methods: The Study of Heart and Renal Protection (SHARP) randomized patients with CKD to simvastatin 20 mg plus ezetimibe 10 mg (simvastatin/ezetimibe) daily versus matching placebo. Participants were followed up at least 6 monthly and all post-randomization serious adverse events (SAEs) were recorded. This supplementary analysis reports the effects of treatment on non-vascular SAEs, overall, by system of disease, by baseline characteristics, and by duration of follow-up.
Results: During a median of 4.9 years follow-up, similar numbers of participants in the two groups experienced at least one non-vascular SAE (3551 [76.4%] simvastatin/ezetimibe vs 3537 [76.6%] placebo; risk ratio [RR] 0.99, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.95-1.04). There was no good evidence of any significant effect of simvastatin/ezetimibe on SAEs attributed to any particular nonvascular disease system (of 43 comparisons, only 3 yielded an uncorrected p value < 0.05, of which the smallest was p = 0.02). The relative risk of any nonvascular SAE did not vary significantly among particular prognostic subgroups or by duration of follow-up.
Conclusions: In the SHARP trial, allocation to simvastatin/ezetimibe combination therapy was not associated with any significant non-vascular hazard.
Trials registration: SHARP was retrospectively registered after the first participant was enrolled in 2003 at ISRCTN (ISRCTN54137607 on 31 January 2005: http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN54137607) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00125593 on 29 July 2005: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00125593).