Calcium buildup reveals risks for heart disease in patients with kidney problems

Lana Bandoim's picture
Heart Disease

A study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reveals that patients who already suffer from kidney disease may also have large calcium deposits in their arteries. Researchers believe the findings will help doctors diagnose heart disease faster in these patients. Previous investigations pointed to the possibility that people with kidney disease did not show the same symptoms.

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Patients who suffer from chronic kidney disease are at a greater risk of dying from heart disease. However, they may not show the usual symptoms of high blood pressure or other problems commonly seen in others. People with kidney problems have a unique set of conditions that can still be used by doctors to diagnose cardiovascular illnesses.

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Research published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology mentions that the study included more than 6,000 people, and 1,284 people suffered from chronic kidney disease. After 8 years, they found that the coronary calcium buildup in their bodies was a good indicator of heart disease. The people in the study had problems ranging from strokes to heart failure. Now, the information collected by researchers will encourage doctors to use another way to determine if a patient with kidney disease is likely to have heart disease.

It is possible to get a painless coronary calcium scan that uses X-rays and can help medical staff diagnose heart disease. In general, the scan is fast and does not require extensive preparations. However, most doctors only recommend the test for people at risk of cardiovascular problems. Since patients suffering from chronic kidney disease are considered high-risk, they may want to discuss this type of scan with their doctors. It is important to note that calcification of the arteries does not always lead to heart attacks or other issues.

Image: Wikipedia Commons

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