High Blood Pressure
and Kidney Disease will Increase Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke -
Diuretics Better than ACE Inhibitors
Older Americans with severe chronic kidney disease are more likely to
develop heart disease than people with normal kidney function.
According to new research published in the Fed. 7th issue Annals of
Internal Medicine, patients are at a “higher risk for developing heart
disease than kidney failure (end stage renal disease)”.
Newer drugs including ACE inhibitors and calcium-channel blockers are
not any better than the older diuretic drugs, according to the new
research. These diuretic drugs (water pills) may even be more effective
at preventing heart failure in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Lead author of the study, Mahboob Rahman M.D. M.S., of Case Western
Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland
and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center said "Overall, ACE
inhibitors and diuretics were about equally likely to protect against
heart attacks, but diuretics seemed more effective at preventing other
kinds of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart failure."
The study included 31,000 men and women 55 years and older who had high
blood pressure and one other risk factor for cardiovascular disease,
such as diabetes. A blood test was used to determine severity of kidney
Of the patients with moderate chronic kidney disease, 38 percent had a
great chance of developing heart disease and a 35 percent increased risk
of overall cardiovascular disease (which includes heart disease, stroke,
heart failure and others) than those with normal kidney function. The
“patients with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease were twice as
likely to develop heart disease than to experience kidney failure”,
according to the study.
The researchers are not sure why moderate and severe kidney disease
leads to greater risk of heart disease. Rahman said "It may be related
to other factors associated with renal failure, such as anemia or
abnormalities of calcium or phosphorus metabolism, for example. We are
participating in other ongoing studies to establish the connections."
Of course there are things you can do to help prevent problems
associated with heart and kidney disease. Rahman recommends "Exercise,
maintaining optimal body weight, smoking avoidance, and maintaining low
cholesterol levels – these are all things that should be done with
renewed emphasis in most patients with high blood pressure. Most patient
with hypertension and chronic kidney disease will require multiple
medications to control blood pressure. Our results demonstrate that the
risk for cardiovascular disease is lower if one of the medications is a
By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Heart Disease
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