Kidney disease 'poses major heart risk'

20 June 2012

Kidney disease could be as harmful to the heart as having a heart attack, a new study by experts in Canada has suggested.

Research published in the Lancet medical journal, and carried out by specialists at the University of Atlanta, indicates that the risk of developing heart disease is just as great in people with severe kidney problems as it is in heart attack survivors.

Lead researcher Dr Marcello Tonelli and colleagues came to the conclusion after cross-referencing the incidence of heart attacks and death among 1.3 million people in Canada who suffered chronic kidney disease, diabetes, a heart attack or a combination of them.

Dr Tonelli explained that 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," he concluded.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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