Scientists uncover key mechanism linking kidney disease to cardiac conditions

21 August 2012

Scientists have identified some of the key mechanisms in kidney disease that contribute to heart attacks and strokes, shedding light on the reason so many kidney patients develop circulatory diseases.

In an animal study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, it was revealed that animals with a form of chronic kidney disease experienced damage of the inner lining of blood vessels throughout the body - typical of the changes seen in patients.

The inner lining of blood vessels is made up of a thick layer of sugars and proteins that form a continuous coat inside blood vessels, providing protection to blood vessel walls.

However, when this inner coat becomes damaged, blood vessels tend to become leaky and inflamed, with previous research indicating that damage to this inner layer speeds up the "furring up" of arteries, or atherosclerosis.

The research team said that if these findings are also true in human patients, the damage to the inner layer could be key to explaining the very high rates of circulatory disease in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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