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Study Questions Tests Used to Spot Heart Risks in Kidney Patients
Date:3/15/2011

e challenge for physicians is to try to figure out what to do now. The treatment to lower phosphate levels is simple and has a very low side effect profile. And, because there's some evidence that people with high phosphorus levels have an increased cardiovascular risk, most physicians would "err on the side of treating." But, he said, there's really "no proof that treatment would lower the risk. We really need a randomized, controlled trial to assess the risk," he said.

Strippoli agreed that a randomized clinical trial of a phosphate-lowering drug is the only way to know for sure if there's a cause-and-effect relationship.

He also believes that there needs to be a shift in medicine away from treating blood biomarkers.

"Times have changed. In the past, our patients were really very compromised. Nowadays, they are better treated overall, perhaps meaning that less emphasis on the micromanagement of individual biomarkers is required. We need to treat diseases, not biomarkers."

More information

Learn more about chronic kidney disease from the National Kidney Foundation.

SOURCES: Giovanni FM Strippoli, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., scientific director, Diaverum and renal research coordinator, Mario Negri Sud Consortium, S. Maria Imbaro, Italy; Bryan Kestenbaum, M.D., M.S., associate professor, medicine and epidemiology, Kidney Research Institute, University of Washington, Seattle; March 16, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association


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