WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Wednesday, July 28, 2010 Millions of Americans in the early stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at an increased risk of having atrial fibrillation (AF) a major risk factor for stroke according to new research by investigators at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
While it is known in the medical community that patients with end-stage renal failure have high rates of AF, new findings show that patients in early stages of CKD experience similar rates of AF, highlighting millions of Americans who were previously thought to be at low risk, but who need close monitoring for the condition.
The findings from the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC), a national study sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), were recently published in the American Heart Journal.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia in the general population, and is one of the strongest risk factors for stroke. While AF prevalence in the general population ranges from 1 to 8 percent, the estimated prevalence of AF among patients with end-stage renal disease has been reported to be between 13 and 23 percent.
The epidemiology of AF has mainly been investigated in patients with end-stage kidney disease who are on dialysis, with limited data in less advanced CKD stages, explained Elsayed Z. Soliman, M.D., M.Sc., M.S., director of the Epidemiological Cardiology Research Center (EPICARE) at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author on the study. Soliman and colleagues studied the prevalence and associations of AF in patients with "early stages" of CKD those not yet on dialysis who were enrolled in the CRIC study.
"More than 25 million U.S. adults have chronic kidney disease and most of them are not on dialysis," Soliman said. "Understanding the prevalence and risk factors of AF in this group of patients has important public health, epidemiologi
|Contact: Jessica Guenzel|
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center