Cardiovascular Disease Linked to Increased Risk of Kidney Failure

January 10, 2020

Individuals with a history of heart disease may be at an increased risk of developing kidney failure.

A new study suggests that cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), such as heart failure (HF), atrial fibrillation (AF), coronary heart disease, and stroke, may be associated with an increased risk of kidney failure.1

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Although many studies have examined the risks of kidney disease on heart disease, few have provided insight into whether CVD increases the long-term risk of ESKD.

In the study, the researchers, led by Kunihiro Matsushita, MD, PhD, and Junichi Ishigami, MD, PhD, examined data on 9047 US adults who did not have signs of heart disease and were enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. They assessed the association of incidence CVD with the risk of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD).1

During a median follow-up of 17.5 years, there were 2598 cases of hospitalization with CVD and 210 cases of incidence ESKD, according to the results. This included 1269 patients with HF, 1337 with AF, 696 with coronary heart disease, and 559 with stroke. Overall, the analysis showed an association between the incidence of major CVD and an increased risk of ESKD, with the highest risk for HF (hazard ratio, 11.40; 95% confidence interval, 8.38 to 15.50), followed by coronary heart disease, AF, and stroke.1

“These findings highlight the importance of managing kidney disease after cardiovascular disease,” the researchers wrote in the study.1 “The potentially distinct contribution to ESKD of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction versus heart failure with reduced ejection fraction deserves future investigation.”

The researchers concluded that individuals with a history of CVD should be recognized as a high risk population for kidney failure.2

“In this context, physicians should be aware of cardiovascular disease as an important risk condition, and thereby minimize treatments that are toxic to the kidneys in such individuals,” Dr Ishigami said in a press release about the findings. He added that the study results may have implications for monitoring kidney function following the incidence of CVD.2