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Kidney Damage May Lead to Hypertension

New research points to direction of association between the two conditions

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Hypertension and kidney disease commonly co-exist, and new research published in the April 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine points to kidney damage as a risk factor for subsequent hypertension.

Bryan Kestenbaum, M.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a study of 2,767 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) who did not have prevalent hypertension, cardiovascular disease or clinically recognized kidney disease. The participants were followed-up for a median 3.1 years.

During the course of the study, 545 participants (19.7 percent) developed hypertension, the researchers report. When the participants were stratified according to kidney function, measured by serum cystatin C levels and urinary albumin excretion, there was a 15 percent greater incidence of hypertension for each 15-nmol/L increase in cystatin C. Those in the highest quartile for urinary albumin creatinine had a 16 percent higher incidence of hypertension versus those in the lowest quartile.

"Hypertension is present in most individuals with chronic kidney disease, and hypertensive nephropathy accounts for about 25 percent of the population with end-stage renal disease in the United States," the authors write. "These findings suggest that early renal impairment may play a role in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension among the general population."

Two of the study co-authors report a financial relationship to the pharmaceutical industry.

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