CKD patients at increased risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes

Oct. 24, 2019

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), which affects an estimated 6.4 percent of U.S. adults 45 and older, is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and other adverse cardiovascular outcomes, according to new research from Mayo Clinic.

The retrospective review of 1,981 patients who were treated for chronic kidney disease at Mayo Clinic between 1997 and 2000 found that over a 10.2-year follow-up period, these patients had significantly elevated cardiac biomarkers, and were at increased risk of heart attack, congestive heart failure, stroke and other adverse cardiovascular events.

According to the study, which is published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the results regarding heart attack were especially striking: Chronic kidney disease was associated with a 95 percent increased risk of heart attack during the follow-up period.

While the prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the U.S. has stabilized in recent decades, the prognosis for patients remains poor. Cardiovascular disease long has been identified as the major cause of premature death for chronic kidney disease patients, but this was believed to be due in part to common risk factors, such as hypertension and diabetes. However, there's growing evidence that impaired kidney function alone is a risk factor.

The study analyzed data from the Olmsted County, Minn., Heart Function Study, a population-based random sample of 2,042 county residents 45 and older, and it used one of the longest follow-up periods in chronic kidney disease research.

The elevated biomarkers identified in the study — the hormone NT-proBNP, which is produced by the heart, and the protein called high-sensitivity troponin, which is found in heart muscle cells — may help identify chronic kidney disease patients who are at high risk, according to the study. Both biomarkers can be measured through blood tests, and these blood tests would give doctors and patients more information to manage risk factors, such as weight, blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

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