Sleep Apnea, Hypertension Common in Chronic Kidney Disease

Protein in urine a marker for body's ability to filter wastes

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SATURDAY, Oct. 7, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- High blood pressure is common in people with sleep apnea, says a study that examined rates of high blood pressure and sleep apnea in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The study of more than 720,000 adults defined the severity of CKD by the presence of protein in urine (proteinuria) and reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR), a measurement of the kidney's ability to remove wastes and fluid from the body and regulate blood levels of compounds such as sodium, potassium, phosphorus and calcium.

The study found that:

  • Among the 395,634 people with no CKD (GFR greater than 90 and no proteinuria), 28 percent had hypertension and 2 percent had sleep apnea. Of those with sleep apnea, 51 percent also had high blood pressure.
  • Among the 4,917 people with stage I CKD (GFR greater than 90 and proteinuria), 74 percent had hypertension and 5 percent had sleep apnea. Of those with sleep apnea, 87 percent also had hypertension.
  • Among the 258,238 people with stage II CKD (GFR 60 to 89), 55 percent had hypertension and 3 percent had sleep apnea. Of those with sleep apnea, 66 percent also had hypertension.
  • Among the 59,300 people with stage III CKD (GFR 30 to 59), 81 percent had hypertension and 3 percent had sleep apnea. Of those with sleep apnea, 86 percent also had hypertension.
  • Among the 2,789 with stage IV CKD (GFR 15 to 29), 94 percent had hypertension and 3 percent had sleep apnea. All those with sleep apnea also had hypertension.

Hypertension is common in people with sleep apnea, whether or not they have CKD, the researchers concluded. They noted that rates of hypertension increase when CKD and sleep apnea are both present in patients with normal GFR who have proteinuria. They also noted that rates of hypertension increase as kidney function declines.

The study was to be presented Oct. 7 at an American Heart Association meeting in San Antonio.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about chronic kidney disease.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, Oct. 7, 2006

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