Kidney Disease Predicts Cardiovascular Mortality

It may be as important a risk factor as diabetes mellitus or prior myocardial infarction

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic kidney disease may be as important a risk factor for cardiovascular mortality as is diabetes mellitus or prior myocardial infarction in elderly patients, according to research published Dec. 15 in the American Journal of Cardiology.

In the study by Arash Rashidi, M.D., of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and colleagues, individuals were grouped according to a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, prior myocardial infarction or chronic kidney disease. Patients having one diagnosis could not have either of the other two. After a mean follow-up of 8.6 years, the rate of cardiovascular mortality was compared among the three patient groups.

During the study, a similar proportion of patients in each group died of cardiovascular-related causes (15.8 percent, 15.7 percent and 13 percent in the diabetes mellitus, myocardial infarction and chronic kidney disease groups, respectively), the researchers report. Further, when compared to patients in the myocardial infarction group, patients in the other two groups had a similar adjusted risk for cardiovascular mortality, the investigators found. The adjusted hazard ratio for cardiovascular mortality was 1.0 and 0.8 for the diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease groups, respectively, when compared with the myocardial infarction group, the report indicates.

"Designation of chronic kidney disease as a cardiovascular risk equivalent in patients over 65 years of age appears justified," the authors conclude.

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