Study: Glomerular Diseases Linked to Greater Risk of Cardivascular Disease

According to a story from Newswise, a recent study concluded that adult patients living with glomerular diseases face an increased chance of cardiovascular disease as well. The findings were first presented during ASN Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined, which took place from October 19 to October 25, 2020. Glomerular diseases include a spectrum of illnesses that impact the glomeruli, which are a cluster of very small blood vessels in the kidneys that play a critical role in the organs’ function of blood filtration.

Glomerular Disease and Cardiovascular Disease

Examples of disease states that affect these blood vessels include minimal change disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, IgA nephropathy, and membranous nephropathy. In adults with reduced functionality of the kidneys, cardiovascular disease has always been a significant cause of death. This study looked at patient data from 2000 to 2012 derived from a kidney disease registry based out of British Columbia. The data included information from 1,912 patients.

These patients were monitored for a median duration of 6.8 years. A total of 338 cardiovascular events were recorded, and the overall ten year risk of an event was 16 percent. There was variation depending on the disease state, however. In IgA nephropathy, for example, the risk was fairly low at 7.7 percent; but in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, the risk was significantly higher at 27 percent. Overall, the results indicated that patients living with some form of glomerular disease saw their risk increase by 2.5 times in comparison to the general adult population.

Lead study author Heather Gunning of the University of British Columbia had this to say about the findings:

“Consideration of glomerular disease–specific factors can help improve cardiovascular risk prediction. Failure to take these novel factors into account will lead to underestimation of cardiovascular risk and underutilization of cardiovascular primary prevention strategies.”

The researchers say that the next step is to conduct further research in order to analyze the impacts of disease progression on cardiovascular disease risk. Investigating the potential impacts of treatment will also be important. It is possible that effective treatment of the underlying glomerular disease can help curtail the increased risk of cardiovascular events.

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