Chronic Kidney Disease & Cardiovascular Disease

Having one disease puts you at greater risk for the other.

Do you have chronic kidney disease (CKD)? If so, your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is higher than most. People with kidney disease are much more likely to die from a heart attack, heart failure or stroke than to develop kidney failure. This is because CKD and CVD are closely interrelated, and the disease of one organ can cause dysfunction, or even failure, of the other.

Your kidneys generate hormones that are tightly linked to blood pressure. When they’re not working properly, your blood pressure can rise, increasing the risk of heart attack, congestive heart failure and stroke. Renal disease can also lead to anemia, the lack of enough red blood cells, which can make you more susceptible to symptoms of existing heart and vascular disease. If your kidney disease is due to diabetes, your risk of CVD increases because diabetes also affects the heart and blood vessels.

Cardiovascular disease is common in people with chronic kidney disease.

Cardiovascular disease is comprised of many conditions, and symptoms will vary. For example, shortness of breath often characterizes heart failure, whereas angina is often a sign of coronary artery disease. And sometimes, there are no symptoms at all until the disease reaches a late stage. Be sure to see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Symptoms of kidney-related cardiovascular disease may include:
• High blood pressure (hypertension) that's difficult to control
• Nausea, vomiting
• Loss of appetite
• Fatigue and weakness
• Changes in how much you urinate
• Confusion

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