Previous research had established chronic
kidney disease, which affects more than 20 million Americans, is already associated
with an increase risk of heart failure.
“People do not often understand the
importance of knowing their fitness level or their kidney function. They aren’t
aware they have chronic kidney disease because it is often asymptomatic, even
though the burden of this disease is growing worldwide,” said Gulati. She said
physicians should use a simple calculation to estimate GFR to determine kidney
function, often calculated by the laboratory, but ignored and not recognized as
a cardiac risk factor.
Women with a lower eGFR at baseline were
older, more likely to be Caucasian, hypertensive, diabetic, non-smokers and
have a reduced fitness level.
“Right now we do not have a lot to offer to people
with chronic kidney disease in terms of treatment options. Often people are
asymptomatic, but heart disease is a more likely outcome than kidney failure,”
said Gulati. “When people hear ‘chronic kidney disease’ they think we are
talking about kidney failure. We are not. Chronic kidney disease is recognized
by the American Heart Association as a ‘high-risk’ state.”
According to Dr. George Bakris of University of
Chicago, who was a co-investigator in the study, more research is needed for
post-menopausal women who are experiencing a much higher rate of cardiovascular
events, blood pressure increase and weight gain. He believes something more is
going on with women’s bodies than hormones that has to do with organ function
and heart health, including kidney function, that is keeping women from living
longer, healthier lives.
This research is funded by The Sarah Ross
Soter Endowed Chair at Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital.
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Gina Bericchia, Medical Center Public Affairs & Media Relations,