Even Slight Decline In Kidney Function May Affect Your Heart


But organ donors needn’t worry, researcher says

Even a slight decline in kidney function can lead to heart damage, a new study suggests.

“Mild chronic kidney disease is common, affecting over 10 percent of the U.S. population, so if kidney disease really is a cause of heart disease it may be a major public health problem,” said study senior author Dr. Jonathan Townend, a professor of cardiology at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in England.

The study, published Jan. 11 in the journal Hypertension, included 68 living kidney donors, average age 47, who were followed for a year after donating their kidney. They were compared with a control group of 56 people, average age 44, who did not donate a kidney.

Compared to those in the control group, the kidney donors had an expected decrease in kidney function, an increase in the mass of the heart’s left ventricle (a strong predictor of heart disease risk), and a rise in heart damage markers in blood tests, the study found.

There was no difference in blood pressure between the two groups, according to the study.

“Even in very healthy people, a small reduction in kidney function from normal to just a bit below normal was associated with an increase in the mass of the left ventricle, a change that makes the heart stiffer and impairs its ability to contract,” Townend said in a journal news release.

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SOURCE: WebMD News from HealthDay
Robert Preidt