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Jun 23, 2014

Heart Events Worsen Outcomes for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

Study highlights importance of heart disease prevention for patients with chronic kidney disease.

A recent study highlights the importance of heart disease prevention for patients with chronic kidney disease after linking cardiac events to poorer outcomes.

Published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation, this study analyzed how heart events, including heart attackstroke and heart failure, impact outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease. It’s well established that chronic kidney disease increases risk for heart disease but experts wondered what happens when patients experience heart events. Does it speed up disease progression, leading to end-state renal disease? And does it increase risk of death? Unfortunately, all signs point to yes.

Between 2001 and 2008, Canadian researchers enrolled almost 3,000 patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (stages 3–5) into their study. Patients were followed for more than two-and-a-half years, during which time 15% of subjects suffered heart attack, stroke or heart failure. After analysis, researchers found that patients experiencing a heart event were 5.3 times more likely to develop end-stage-renal disease and had 4.15 times greater risk of death compared to those not impacted by a cardiac event.

Based on these findings, authors conclude that cardiac events drastically increase risk of end-stage renal disease and death in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. To address this issue, researchers encourage strategies to better prevent heart events in these high-risk patients. Chronic kidney disease is an established risk factor for heart disease and taking steps to reduce risk for potentially life-threatening events is a must. Chronic kidney disease is very common, affecting an estimated 7% of U.S. adults, and better prevention strategies could help millions of patients live longer, healthier lives.

Questions for You to Consider

  • What is kidney disease?
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when kidneys become damaged and unable to do their jobs properly. CKD can slowly develop over a long period of time, and is often caused by diabeteshigh blood pressure and other health conditions. Early detection and treatment can help slow disease progression and keep CKD from getting worse.
  • Why does chronic kidney disease increase risk for heart disease?
  • Chronic kidney disease can lead to a number of health complications like diabetes and high blood pressure, which put patients at significantly increased risk for heart disease. Chronic kidney disease is now an established risk factor for heart disease and prevention strategies to reduce cardiovascular risk are critical for patients with this condition.

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