Kidney Disease Raises Risk for Stroke, Cancer
A diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) often brings three-times-a-week dialysis and consideration of a transplant. But for the 26 million Americans suffering from the disease--often caused by diabetes or high blood pressure--it also means an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and certain cancers.
Heart disease is the major cause of death for people with CKD. As part of a decade-long cardiac study published last spring, researchers looked at whether CKD independently increases the risk for a blocked artery to the brain in people with atrial fibrillation (AF). AF occurs when disorganized electrical signals in the heart's upper chambers cause the muscle to contract quickly and irregularly. Affecting more than 2.2 million Americans, particularly those 75 and older, AF increases the risk of stroke fourfold.
In the study, researchers looked at adults with AF and found a lower level of kidney function was associated with an increased risk for stroke and blood clots.
"The increased risk of stroke may in part be due to the inflammation that results from chronic kidney disease, as well as stiffening of the arteries," said Mario Torres, MD, chief of nephrology at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center. "Kidney function may be one way to assess stroke risk and develop prevention strategies for patients with atrial fibrillation."
Renal Disease and Cancer in Men
People with end-stage renal disease are at increased risk for developing cancer, but what is the risk for people with milder forms of CKD? To find out, researchers followed 3,600 men ages 49 to 97 for 10 years. Those with "moderate dysfunction" had a 39 percent greater chance of developing cancer-- most notably lung and urinary--while those with "significant" disease faced three times the risk.
More research is required to uncover the cancer link and discover if it holds true for women.
"People with kidney disease face greater risk for many conditions, including heart attack, stroke and cancer," Dr. Torres said. "It is extremely important that physicians and patients be vigilant about monitoring these concerns."
Mario Torres, MD
For more information about Dr. Torres or another Lourdes expert, call 1-888-LOURDES (568-7337) or visit the Lourdes Health System Web site at www.lourdesnet.org and click on "Find a Physician."
Lourdes Opens New Dialysis Center
Lourdes Health System, a regional leader in outpatient dialysis, recently opened its newest facility, on the campus of Innova Health and Rehab in Mount Laurel. Lourdes Dialysis at Innova is open to clients of the nursing home, as well as area residents requiring outpatient dialysis.
"Lourdes has been providing exceptional care for chronic kidney disease patients from throughout southern New Jersey for more than four decades," said Mario Torres, MD, the center's medical director. "Our nephrologists, nurses, technicians and staff provide quality, dignified care in a comfortable, state-of-the-art facility."
The center, at 3716 Church Road, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and can accommodate patients in beds and wheelchairs. Each of the 24 patient stations has a flat-screen TV with cable and DVD capability, as well as wireless Internet access.
For more information, call 856-380-3980.