Irregular beats spell higher risk of kidney failure

Washington, Jan 21 (IANS) The risk of kidney failure is greater for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD), especially those suffering from atrial fibrillation - a common form of irregular heart beats in adults, says a study.

The findings by the researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research could open the way to new approaches, with improved outcomes for CKD patients.

Those who suffer with CKD or end-stage renal disease commonly have atrial fibrillation and tend to have a stroke or to die. However, the long-term impact of atrial fibrillation on kidney function among CKD patients has been unknown, the journal Circulation reports.

The new study involved 206,229 CKD patients who were drawn from members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, a large integrated health care delivery system, according to an UCSF statement.

Over the course of about five years, approximately 16,400 patients developed atrial fibrillation, and those who did were 67 percent more likely to progress to end-stage renal disease compared with patients who had CKD, but did not develop atrial fibrillation.

"These novel findings expand on previous knowledge by highlighting that atrial fibrillation is linked to a worse kidney prognosis in patients with underlying kidney dysfunction," said kidney specialist Nisha Bansal, assistant professor of Nephrology at UCSF.

"There is a knowledge gap about the long-term impact of atrial fibrillation on the risk of adverse kidney-related outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease," said senior study co-author Alan S. Go, director of the Comprehensive Clinical Research Unit at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research.


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