Statin use may protect against the formation of kidney stones, according to a new study published in the journal Urology.

For this study, researchers aimed to determine the impact of statin use on the risk of nephrolithiasis and to assess whether higher lipid levels were associated with the risk of stone formation. Using their institution’s Electronic Data Warehouse, they identified 101,259 patients newly diagnosed with hyperlipidemia between 2009 and 2011 who had never taken a statin medication; these patients were then followed until 2015. 

Of the total patients included, nearly half (47.8%) were prescribed a statin drug during the study period. These patients were found to be significantly older and were more likely to take thiazide diuretics. 

The results showed that patients with no history of urolithiasis taking statin therapy had a significantly lower risk of developing new stones vs patients not taking statin therapy. “This protective effect was even greater in patients with a history of stone disease,” the authors write. Moreover, patients who received statins had lower levels of LDL, triglycerides, and cholesterol, “suggesting overall compliance with these medications.” 

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“Our data confirms previous work that statins protect against urinary stone formation, however the underlying mechanism seems to be distinct from statins’ lipid-lowering effect,” the authors conclude.

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