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Kidney Health Associated with Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Did you know your risk for cardiovascular disease is associated with your kidney health? According to a new study, a series of tests assessing kidney function can predict the likelihood of developing high levels of blood pressure and cholesterol.

Lead author Dr. Kunihiro Matsushita, of Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology, said data on kidney health can be used to measure a person’s predisposition for cardiovascular disorder.

“If health care 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,” he explained.

For this study, researchers discovered that chronic kidney disease patients have twice the risk for cardiovascular problems compared to people with health kidneys. Moreover, they also found out that about 50 percent of these chronic kidney disease patients die from cardiovascular disease before end-stage renal disease has progressed.

“This study tells us we could do even better with information that oftentimes we are already collecting,” Dr. Matsushita said, adding that blood pressure and cholesterol level tests are not perfect at predicting cardiovascular risks.

In their report, the researchers explained that the amount of creatinine, which is a waste product of our muscles, in the blood is a good indicator of how well our kidneys are doing their job of filtering it. Albumin is another substance indicator, which if there are high amounts of it in the urine, there is a big probability that the patient is suffering from kidney damage.