Systolic blood pressure levels over 140 mm Hg increase the risk of coronary heart disease in chronic kidney disease patients. For the study, the researchers looked at the association between blood pressure and other clinical outcomes in over 300,000 chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients.
The study revealed that systolic blood pressure over 140 mm Hg was linked to a higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and all-cause death in CKD patients. Systolic blood pressure levels under 110 mm Hg were associated with a higher mortality risk but lower risks of coronary heart disease and stroke. Diastolic blood pressure levels below 70 mm Hg were linked to a higher risk of death, but no association with cardiovascular outcomes has been found.
Researcher Csaba Kovesdy explained, “Hypertension affects almost all patients with CKD, and it is one of the few conditions that is treatable with a wide array of medications in these patients. The national VA research database offered us the opportunity to examine the effects of various blood pressure levels on outcomes in patients who are less well studied in clinical trials.”
In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Jessica Weiss wrote, “Ideally, future studies may continue to expand our knowledge… with more detailed exploration of the potential modifying effect of comorbidity and frailty on the association between blood pressure and outcomes in older adults. For now, a tailored application of available data to the constellation of comorbidities and healthcare priorities of a particular patient remains the best approach for individualized hypertension management among older adults with CKD.”
How blood pressure is associated with kidney disease
Blood pressure is the force with which your blood pushes against the blood vessel wall when your heart pumps it out. There are many reasons for high blood pressure, including high salt intake, extra weight, and lack of exercise.
High blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels in the kidneys, reducing their ability to function properly. Your blood vessels must stretch when the force of blood is high, and over time this constant stretching can leave scars, which weakens the blood vessels throughout the body and the kidneys.
In the damaged blood vessels in the kidneys, the functionality and waste-removing ability is compromised. As a result, extra fluid builds up in the body, further raising the blood pressure.
High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure in the United States after diabetes.