A study has uncovered that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have a significantly higher risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The findings come from a meta-analysis which was presented at the 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting this past October in Chicago.
The researchers looked at the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases to evaluate the risk of CKD among those with RA and the general population. The researchers focused on four studies that included 1.6 million participants that met their criteria.
Analysis revealed that RA patients had a significantly higher risk of CKD.
Previous studies have found similar findings. Potential factors that could increase chronic kidney disease risk include higher inflammation in the body triggered by RA, the use of corticosteroids, high blood pressure, obesity, and higher cholesterol levels.
Studies in the area of rheumatoid arthritis and kidney disease suggest that doctors looking after RA patients should monitor their kidney function and check for early signs of kidney disease. It’s essential that RA patients keep their blood pressure under control, eat a low sodium diet, and speak to their doctor about any medication they are currently on that can cause harm to the kidneys.
Other studies have uncovered that RA and kidney disease patients may also be at a higher risk for heart disease, so adhering to a healthy lifestyle is important in order to control other health conditions as well.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the joints and trigger inflammations and symptoms. Joints may feel warm, painful, stiff, and swollen.
Chronic kidney disease is a disease or group of conditions which impairs the function of the kidney(s). Conditions that can contribute to chronic kidney disease include diabetes, hypertension, glomerulonephritis, interstitial nephritis, polycystic kidney disease, prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract, reoccurring kidney infection, and vesicoureteral reflux.