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Kidney, Heart Problems May Be Linked

Older people face more risks when kidneys are damaged, study finds,,

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Damaged kidneys could put older adults at a greater risk of heart failure, stroke and other cardiovascular disease, a new report says.

The University of Glasgow study of adults ages 70 to 82 found that participants whose kidney function was most impaired had a three times greater risk of having non-fatal heart failure or heart disease and were more likely to die from the heart conditions as were those with healthier kidneys. They were also twice as likely to die from any cause as were people with healthier kidneys.

Given the findings, seniors with impaired kidney function should try to control other risk factors, such as high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure, to help prevent cardiovascular issues from arising, according to a news release from PLoS Medicine, which published the study online.

The study, originally started to learn whether the medication pravastatin (Pravachol), a statin, affected the development of cardiovascular disease, also noted that the drug seemed to help reduce the number of heart problems in people with the most kidney damage, but the finding was considered statistically questionable.

More information

The National Kidney Foundation has more about kidney disease.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: PLoS Medicine, news release, Jan. 20, 2009

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