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Recognizing heart risk in dialysis patients

In a recent research they suggest that high levels of C-reactive protein and low levels of albumin indicate high risk of heart disease in kidney patients. Of the 25% of patients who die while on kidney dialysis,// half do so from heart disease. Previous studies suggest that such patients run between five and one hundred times the risk of heart problems compared to the rest of the population.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins University have surveyed a group of 1,050 patients undergoing dialysis. Over the period from 1994 to 1999, there were 260 cardiac-related events in the group - ranging from heart attack to leg amputation because of poor circulation. Blood analysis showed that high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and low levels of albumin indicated a high risk of such problems.

CRP is a marker for inflammation and has already been shown to be a significant indicator of heart disease. Meanwhile, low levels of albumin suggest malnutrition. The researchers suggest that such simple blood tests could be a useful way of recognizing those on dialysis who are at high risk of a cardiac event and hence can be helped to avoid such happenings.


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