THURSDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Patients battling chronic
kidney disease face a higher risk for stroke and heart disease, new
The findings are reported in a pair of studies, one from the
University of California, Los Angeles, and the second from the
University of Cambridge in England, that are published in the Oct.
1 edition of
Past and current indications of a kidney disease-heart disease
link prompted the Cambridge team, which was led by Emanuele Di
Angelantonio from the department of public health and primary care,
and the UCLA team led by Bruce Ovbiagele of the stroke center and
department of neurology, to suggest that early signs of kidney
disease should be considered a prime factor when screening for
heart disease and stroke risk, alongside blood pressure and
However, using kidney disease as a heart disease screening tool
is complicated by the fact that kidney disease often goes
undiagnosed due to a lack of obvious symptoms, the study authors
noted in a news release from the journal's publisher.
In the first instance, the UCLA study, conducted in consort with
researchers from Taiwan, focused on the results of 33 studies that
looked at the flow rate of fluid filtered through the kidneys of
about 280,000 patients.
The team found that those with abnormally low flow rates had a
43 percent greater risk for a future stroke compared with those
with normal flow rates.
In addition, as a particular grouping, Asians with low flow
rates faced a higher stroke risk than non-Asians with low flow
rates, Ovbiagele and colleagues observed.
In the study by Di Angelantonio's team, conducted in
collaboration with Icelandic researchers, nearly 17,000 Iceland
residents were tracked for almost a quarter of a century.
Noting that even very early signs of kidney disease among the
participants was linked to heart disease risk, the team found that
by adding kidney disease to traditional screening protocols, heart
disease prediction improved "modestly." Specifically, evidence of
kidney disease turned out to be half as predictive as a history of
diabetes and about one-sixth as predictive as a history of
Kidney disease was also linked to an increased risk of death
from health complications unrelated to either heart disease or
The research team called for more study into the apparent
association between kidney disease and cardiovascular risk, and the
usefulness of using kidney disease as a screening indicator.
For more on kidney disease and heart risk, visit the
National Kidney Foundation.