A new study has found that young adults with kidney function lower than what is expected for their age, but not yet at the threshold for chronic kidney disease (CKD), have an increased risk for adverse cardiovascular outcomes in the future. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Ottawa and ICES in Ottawa, Canada, examined data from over 8.7 million adults between the ages of 18 and 65. They found that even at an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 90 to 99 mL/min/1.73 m2, adults younger than 40 had significantly higher risks of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and MACE plus heart failure compared with better renal function.
The study also found that the magnitude of the increased risk grew at lower levels of kidney function. This relationship between subclinical eGFR declines and cardiovascular events is concerning, especially since these associations were not as pronounced in older age groups. Currently, there is a one-size-fits-all approach to diagnosing kidney disease, with CKD defined as an eGFR below 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 across all age groups. However, this study suggests that young people may require different criteria for diagnosing kidney disease.
The researchers recommend more routine monitoring of kidney function and managing risk factors for young adults with slight declines in renal function. Young people with kidney function lower than expected based on age should be monitored for disease progression and screened for other cardiovascular risk factors. Implementing lifestyle changes such as exercising, eating a healthy diet, and quitting smoking may also help improve both heart and kidney health.
This study highlights the importance of recognizing and addressing early declines in renal function in young adults to prevent future cardiovascular events. Additional research is needed to determine the best course of action in response to subclinical declines in kidney function and how to modify the risk of cardiovascular events in this population.
Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology
– Chronic kidney disease (CKD): a long-term condition where the kidneys do not function properly.
– Glomerular filtration rate (GFR): a measure of how well the kidneys are filtering waste from the blood.
– Major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE): a composite endpoint that includes cardiovascular mortality, acute coronary syndrome, or ischemic stroke.
Source: Data from the study conducted by researchers from the University of Ottawa and ICES in Ottawa, Canada. Study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.