Kidney disease heart problem risk
People with chronic kidney disease could be at as high a risk of heart disease as patients who have already had a heart attack, according to new research from Canada.
The study examined medical records from almost 1.3 million patients in Canada and compared the amount of heart attacks and death in patients with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, at least one previous heart attack, or a combination of these risk factors.
The researchers found that people with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, or both, tended to be at a similar risk of heart attack to those who had previously had a heart attack. This suggests that kidney disease could prove to be a useful indicator for future coronary heart disease.
The findings are important because patients identified as being at risk of heart disease can receive targeted treatment - for example, with drugs such as statins, which reduce the risk of coronary events due to their effects of lowering 'bad' fats in the bloodstream.
"Our research suggests that there is a strong case for considering chronic kidney disease to be a coronary heart disease risk equivalent, meaning that people with chronic kidney disease are at a comparable risk of coronary events to those who have previously had a heart attack," said lead researcher, Dr Marcello Tonelli, of the University of Alberta.
"Chronic kidney disease patients have substantially higher rates of death from heart disease after a heart attack than the general population, which emphasises the potential value of preventing coronary events through drug treatment and lifestyle interventions.
"In fact, the rate of death from heart disease among people with chronic kidney disease was similar to or higher than the rate of death among people with diabetes - in whom the value of preventive treatments is well-known."
The finding were published online first in an article in the Lancet.
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[Posted: Wed 20/06/2012]