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Heart Rate Measures May Predict Kidney Disease Risk

High resting heart rate, low heart rate variability associated with increased risk

FRIDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- High resting heart rate and low heart rate variability appear to be associated with increased risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and hospitalization related to chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study published online July 8 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Daniel J. Brotman, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues assessed resting heart rate and heart rate variability in 13,241 individuals, aged 45 to 64 years, who were followed for a median of 16 years in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

The researchers identified 199 cases of incident ESRD as well as 541 patients who had CKD-related hospitalizations, with higher resting heart rate and lower heart rate variability linked to both outcomes. The fully adjusted hazard ratios for ESRD were 1.98 for individuals in the highest heart rate quartile and 1.56 for high-frequency power. In addition, the researchers found that other frequency and time domain measures had similar and significant associations with ESRD and CKD-related hospitalizations.

"These results suggest that autonomic dysfunction may be an important risk factor for ESRD and CKD-related hospitalizations and call for further studies to define the mechanisms that underlie these associations," the authors write.

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