Chronic Kidney Disease-Cardiovascular Disease Links
Though February is American Hearth Month, it's also an important time to talk about kidney disease.
Balintfy: Though February is American Hearth Month, it's also an important time to talk about kidney disease. Dr. Griffin Rodgers, Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains.
Rodgers: There is a very important connection between chronic kidney disease or CKD, and cardiovascular disease. People with CKD are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people without CKD.
Balintfy: Dr. Rodgers warns that the connection between chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease goes both ways.
Rodgers: People with CKD have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. And the reverse is true as well: people with cardiovascular disease have a higher risk of chronic kidney disease. High blood pressure and diabetes damage the small vessels in the kidneys and elsewhere in the body, including the vessels that supply the heart.
Balintfy: Dr. Rodgers says it's important to be screened for chronic kidney disease.
Rodgers: CKD is often called a "silent" disease because many people don't realize that they have chronic kidney disease until their kidneys have almost completely stopped working. NIH recommends that people who have diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or a family history of cardiovascular disease work with their health care provider to monitor their kidney health. Blood and urine tests are the only ways to know if early CKD is present.
Balintfy: Dr. Rodgers adds that people with CKD can take important steps to keep their kidneys, heart and blood vessels healthier longer.
Rodgers: These steps are, for example, maintaining their blood pressure at 130/80 or below. An important way of doing that is to limit sodium intake. Some drugs not only lower blood pressure and protect the kidneys and the heart. If diabetes is present, for example, controlling the blood sugar is a way to not only maintain the integrity and viability of kidneys, but also the heart and blood vessels. Maintaining a healthy body weight. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with exercise. Quit smoking. And controlling cholesterol. And although aspirin is quite effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, in patients that have CKD there is an increased risk of them developing abnormal bleeding complications. So it's very important for one to check with one's health care provider before taking aspirin in this context.
Balintfy: For more information about CKD, visit the National Kidney Disease Education's Website at www.nkdep.nih.gov or call toll free, 1-866-4-KIDNEY. This is Joe Balintfy, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Joe Balintfy
Sound Bite: Dr. Griffin Rodgers, Director,
Topic: CKD and CVD