Dyslipidaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease – a neglected cardiovascular risk factor


  • M R Essop Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • F Seedat Department of Internal Medicine and Division of Endocrinology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • F J Raal Department of Internal Medicine and Division of Endocrinology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa




chronic kidney disease, Dyslipidaemia, cardiovascular disease, South Africa


Background. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In addition, CKD itself is a coronary artery disease equivalent due to its atherogenic potential. Despite the role of CKD in ASCVD and recommendations to control lipid levels aggressively, landmark lipid studies have often excluded patients with advanced CKD. Furthermore, there is a scarcity of data on the use and efficacy of lipid-lowering therapy (LLT) in those with CKD in South Africa (SA). Objectives. To determine the prevalence and control of dyslipidaemia in a cohort of SA patients with CKD.

Methods. A retrospective, cross-sectional observational study of 250 patients with CKD attending the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital renal clinic from 1 July 2019 to 31 July 2020 was carried out. Lipograms, the use of LLT and achievement of target lipid levels were examined.

Results. The median (interquartile range) age of this cohort was 58 (46 - 69) years; 50.4% were males and 64.4% black African. Dyslipidaemia was prevalent in 83.6% (n=209) of patients. A total of 169 (67.6%) patients were on LLT, and of these only 28 (16.6%) achieved the recommended low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) target. Of those not on LLT, 51 (63%) were eligible for LLT and almost all were classified as either very high risk (64.2%) or high risk (28.4%) for ASCVD. Of those on LLT, all were on statin therapy, of which simvastatin at a mean dose of 20 mg daily was the most commonly prescribed LLT.

Conclusion. This cohort comprised a large proportion of patients classified as high or very high risk for ASCVD. Despite this, the use of LLT was inadequate, and <20% of patients were at target LDL-C levels. These data suggest a greater need for awareness of initiating LLT to achieve recommended target LDL-C levels in patients with CKD.


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How to Cite

Essop MR, Seedat F, Raal FJ. Dyslipidaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease – a neglected cardiovascular risk factor. S Afr Med J [Internet]. 2023 Nov. 6 [cited 2023 Dec. 2];113(11):35-40. Available from: https://samajournals.co.za/index.php/samj/article/view/1089

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