Thursday, June 04, 2015
If your kidneys could speak, it would definitely tell you about the health of your heart. Emerging research has identified that simple parameters of kidney function and damage can not only predict the risk of heart failure and death from heart attack and stroke, better than traditional tests for cholesterol and blood pressure.
Published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, the study analysed data from 24 studies that included more than 637,000 participants with no history of cardiovascular disease. These studies had measured kidney function parameters such as albuminuria and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) which is a measure of how well the kidneys filter out waste.
The researchers found that both GFR and albuminuria independently improved prediction of cardiovascular disease in general, and particularly risk of heart failure and death from heart attack and stroke. Albuminuria was the stronger predictor of heart disease risk.
Surprisingly, both these kidney function parameters outperformed the ability of traditional risk factors such as serum cholesterol, systolic blood pressure and smoking to predict the risk of heart disease.
"If healthcare providers have data on kidney damage and kidney function -- which they often do -- they should be using those data to better understand a patient's risk of cardiovascular disease," said the researchers.
Armed with this additional data, physicians will be better equipped to suggest lifestyle changes or a medication regime that could be beneficial for the patient.
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