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Kidney Trouble Speeds Heart Failure

It raises death rate even when heart function is relatively healthy, study finds

MONDAY, Feb. 6, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Impaired kidney function increases the risk of death in patients with worsening chronic heart failure, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data on 2,680 North American patients who took part in a study involving the drug candesartan.

"We investigated the number of patients who died or were admitted to the hospital for worsening heart failure," lead author Dr. Hans L. Hillege, of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, said in a prepared statement.

"After the study ended, we looked at the relationships among kidney function and heart function with death and risk for admittance to the hospital for heart failure or cardiovascular death," he said.

He and his colleagues found that a deterioration in either kidney function or heart function were significant independent predictors of worse outcome for the patients.

"Notably, decreased kidney function was an important predictor of worse outcomes in patients with relatively normal [heart function]," Hillege said. "The patients with the worst kidney function had the highest risk for heart complications -- with the risk being almost twice as high as in patients with normal kidney function."

The study appears in this week's issue of Circulation.

The researchers said future studies should examine why there is an association between kidney function and heart failure.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about heart failure.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, Feb. 6, 2006
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