Kidney lesions linked to heart disease in people with chronic kidney disease

Credit: Robina Weermeijer / Unsplash.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can cause heart diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.

A new study examined kidney tissue collected during biopsies to better understand this link.

The study looked at 597 adults from the Boston Kidney Biopsy Cohort who had no history of heart disease.

The researchers found that kidney disease biopsy lesions were associated with an increased risk of heart disease and death.

The study provides new insights into the association between kidney disease and heart disease that were separate from traditional measures such as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and albuminuria.

The team found two kidney anatomical abnormalities were linked to an increased risk of heart disease: the excess buildup of substances in the kidney filtration unit’s mesangium (“mesangial expansion”) and thickening of the walls of small blood vessels (“arteriolar sclerosis”).

Additionally, people with diagnoses of vascular kidney disease, diabetic kidney disease, or greater severity of chronic kidney lesions were each associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events.

The study used tissue collected from the Boston Kidney Biopsy Cohort, which includes samples provided by three hospitals in Boston.

Two kidney pathologists provided scores for abnormalities in the kidney that were observed through the microscope.

Then, these findings were analyzed alongside the clinicopathological diagnosis of CKD from the patient’s medical records.

The associations found in the study were independent of other clinical risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as the traditional measure of kidney filtration, eGFR, and proteinuria.

The team says the study’s findings can help doctors understand patients’ heart disease risk when they are considering the management of kidney disease.

Future studies are needed to examine whether kidney lesions can be targeted to reduce the risk of heart disease.

If you care about kidney health, please read studies about how to protect your kidneys from diabetes, and drinking coffee could help reduce risk of kidney injury.

For more information about kidney health, please see recent studies about foods that may prevent recurrence of kidney stones, and blood-pressure-lowering diet can also help reduce risk of kidney disease.

The study was conducted by Leo F. Buckley et al and published in JAMA Cardiology.

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