2013 Volume 20 Issue 5 Pages 407-424
Diabetes is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in developed nations, including Japan and the United States. Japan has the unenviable distinction of having one of the world’s highest rates of dialysis: in 2011, there were over 300,000 dialysis patients (2,383 per million people), with diabetic patients accounting for almost half of all incident cases. Concomitance of CKD and diabetes predicts a greater risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than either condition in isolation. Hence, appropriate management of modifiable cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, including dyslipidemia, is paramount in this high-risk group. The United States and Japan have distinct approaches to cholesterol management, with more stringent therapeutic targets for lipid control advocated in US guidelines. However, upward trends in cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease incidence in Japan may provide justification for more intensive CV risk factor management strategies by Japanese physicians to achieve maximum benefit. Attainment of recommended lipid goals in Japan is poor, particularly in patients with diabetes and/or CKD in whom CV risk factors are often undertreated. Statin therapy has been shown to be safe and effective in reducing CV risk in patients with diabetes and/or CKD stages 1-5. Moreover, statins may impart a renoprotective effect by preventing or delaying progressive loss of kidney function. This review summarizes evidence from studies in Western and Japanese populations to highlight the CV and renal benefits of lipid-lowering agents in CKD patients, including those with diabetes.