Low systolic readings linked to stroke in kidney patients
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 5, 2007
Chronic kidney disease patients whose systolic blood pressure is less than 120 mmHg have a higher risk of stroke, says a study in the March Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Researchers analyzed data from 20,358 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities and Cardiovascular Health Studies. In line with previous research, CKD raised the risk of having a stroke by 22%. Hypertension upped it by 18% for every extra 10 mmHg above normal. But unlike those with normal kidneys, those with impaired kidneys had a more than double risk of stroke if their blood pressure was low. This was more pronounced if patients were on antihypertensive drugs.
"This research points out how little we truly know about the best way to treat individuals with CKD," said Daniel E. Weiner, MD, lead author and assistant professor in the nephrology division at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston. "Most likely, low blood pressure identifies individuals with weak hearts or with stiff blood vessels that are unable to compensate to increase blood flow when needed or individuals who have a high preexisting burden of vascular disease. However, it is possible that low blood pressure itself may be directly harmful in patients with kidney disease due to decreased blood supply to the brain."
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/03/05/hlbf0305.htm.