04 October 2010

Kidney Disease Linked to Future Heart Disease, Stroke Risk

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Two studies weigh value of using renal function as a way to screen for other problems
Patients battling chronic kidney disease face a higher risk for stroke and heart disease, new research reveals.

The findings are reported in a pair of studies, one from the University of California, Los Angeles, and the second from the University of Cambridge in England, that are published in the Oct. 1 edition of BMJ.com.

Past and current indications of a kidney disease-heart disease link prompted the Cambridge team, which was led by Emanuele Di Angelantonio from the department of public health and primary care, and the UCLA team led by Bruce Ovbiagele of the stroke center and department of neurology, to suggest that early signs of kidney disease should be considered a prime factor when screening for heart disease and stroke risk, alongside blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

However, using kidney disease as a heart disease screening tool is complicated by the fact that kidney disease often goes undiagnosed due to a lack of obvious symptoms, the study authors noted in a news release from the journal's publisher.

In the first instance, the UCLA study, conducted in consort with researchers from Taiwan, focused on the results of 33 studies that looked at the flow rate of fluid filtered through the kidneys of about 280,000 patients.

The team found that those with abnormally low flow rates had a 43 percent greater risk for a future stroke compared with those with normal flow rates.

In addition, as a particular grouping, Asians with low flow rates faced a higher stroke risk than non-Asians with low flow rates, Ovbiagele and colleagues observed.

(HealthScout.com)

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