Study: Blood Pressure Predicts Heart Disease

Study: Blood Pressure Predicts Heart Disease

Reported January 30, 2009

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — An inexpensive and non-invasive test can effectively indicate which kidney disease patients are at an increased risk of developing potentially fatal heart complications, according to a new study.

Doctors use pulse pressure, an indicator of arterial stiffness and aging that is derived from blood pressure readings, to measure coronary artery calcification in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients on dialysis. These patients frequently die from cardiovascular complications.

The test is typically not done on patients with earlier stages of the disease who are not yet on dialysis. Italian researchers wanted to test if pulse pressure could predict coronary artery calcification on these patients.



Domenico Russo, M.D., and his colleagues at the University of Naples Federico II in Naples, Italy, measured the pulse pressure of 388 CKD patients not on dialysis and compared those findings to the patients’ coronary calcium scores and abdominal X-rays used to measure calcification.

They found that pulse pressure above 60 mmHg correlated significantly with coronary calcium scores in all patients with various stages of CKD.

They said their findings indicate that pulse pressure may be used to identify CKD patients with sub-clinical heart conditions who need further evaluation.

SOURCE: Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology, February 2009