Warning signal from the kidneys can predict future heart failure risk

Credit: Jullien Tromeur / Unsplash.

An international team of researchers led by Osaka University has found an important clue that could help doctors prevent heart failure in their patients.

Their research shows that keeping an eye on certain kidney health markers could indicate who’s at higher risk of developing serious heart problems.

This is crucial because about 1 in 5 people will suffer from heart failure at some point in their lives, and bad kidney health is a major risk factor for this condition.

What the Study Looked At

Doctors usually look at specific markers in the blood and urine to check kidney health, especially in patients who are at risk for heart issues.

However, the team, led by Dr. Ryoto Sakaniwa, focused on how long-term changes in these markers could predict heart risks. They examined the health data of nearly 7,000 people from a Dutch study that spanned 11 years.

They specifically looked at two common kidney markers: urinary albumin excretion (UAE) and serum creatinine.

“The results were very clear,” says Dr. Jasper Tromp, another key researcher in the study.

People who had continuously high levels of these markers over the years were much more likely to develop heart failure or die from any cause.

Who is at Risk?

The study also showed that folks with high levels of these kidney markers were generally older men and often had other health problems like diabetes or a history of heart attacks.

This tells doctors that these are the people who need to be watched more closely for signs of upcoming heart problems.

According to Dr. Sakaniwa, this study proves how closely connected heart and kidney health really are. “Reducing these renal markers could help prevent heart failure,” he says.

That’s huge, because knowing who is at high risk means that doctors can start preventive treatments earlier, possibly stopping heart failure before it starts.

Since heart failure is so common, understanding these kidney markers could be a game-changer in preventive healthcare.

The researchers suggest that these findings should be tested in more diverse groups of people to confirm they hold true across different populations.

If they do, monitoring these kidney health markers could become a standard part of heart disease prevention worldwide.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease, and scientists find how COVID-19 damages the heart.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about Aspirin linked to a higher risk of heart failure, and results showing this drug could reduce heart disease, fatty liver, and obesity.

The study was published in the European Journal of Heart Failure.

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