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Irregular heart beat elevates risk of kidney failure
Date:1/17/2013

Many people who suffer from chronic kidney disease progressively lose their kidney function over time and eventually develop a condition called end-stage renal disease the complete failure of the kidneys placing them in need of lifelong dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Now researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research have found that the risk of kidney failure is greater for people with chronic kidney disease who also have atrial fibrillation, one of the most common forms of irregular heart rhythm in adults.

The finding opens the way for further studies into the relationship between the two factors, which could lead to new treatment approaches that would improve outcomes for people with chronic kidney disease.

Doctors have known that patients with chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease commonly have atrial fibrillation and as a result are more likely to have a stroke or to die. However, the long-term impact of atrial fibrillation on kidney function among patients with known chronic kidney disease has been unknown.

The new study, published last month in the journal Circulation, involved 206,229 adults with chronic kidney disease who were drawn from members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, a large integrated health care delivery system.. Over the course of about five years, approximately 16,400 patients developed atrial fibrillation, and those who did were 67 percent more likely to progress to end-stage renal disease compared with patients who had chronic kidney disease but did not develop atrial fibrillation

"These novel findings expand on previous knowledge by highlighting that atrial fibrillation is linked to a worse kidney prognosis in patients with underlying kidney dysfunction," said kidney specialist Nisha Bansal, MD, an assistant professor in the Division of Nephrology at UCSF.

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Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jason.bardi@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

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