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 a simple calculation to estimate GFR 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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Contact: Gina Bericchia, Medical Center Public Affairs & Media Relations, 614-293-3737, [email protected]