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  • Adding measures of kidney function to traditional measures of cardiovascular health could help clinicians predict an individual’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Newswise — Washington, DC (March 4, 2021) — New research indicates that tests of patients’ kidney health may provide insights on their risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The findings are published in an upcoming issue of JASN.

To calculate an individual’s 10-year risk of having a cardiovascular problem, such as a heart attack or stroke, clinicians often use the atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk score, which is based on the person’s age, sex, race, cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, blood pressure–lowering medications used, diabetes status, and smoking status. Experts have noted that additional (non-traditional) risk factors should also be considered when deciding whether patients should take preventive medications such as statins.

To evaluate whether measures of kidney function—called the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio and the estimated glomerular filtration rate—might be useful, a team led by Guang Ning, MD, PhD and Weiqing Wang, MD, PhD (Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine) examined data from the China Cardiometabolic Disease and Cancer Cohort study, which is a large, nationwide, multicenter, prospective study of Chinese residents aged 40 years and older.

The team found that the addition of the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio and the estimated glomerular filtration rate further improved estimates of future cardiovascular disease risk on top of the ASCVD risk score calculated by traditional risk factors.

“For the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, a comprehensive evaluation using both traditional and non-traditional risk factors is important,” said Dr. Wang. “Evaluation using traditional risk factors such as glucose, blood pressure, and lipids could make a first stratification on your risk, and further evaluation using non-traditional risk factors related to kidney health could significantly refine the stratification and predict the risk more accurately.”

Study co-authors include Yu Xu, MD, PhD; Mian Li, MD, PhD; Guijun Qin, MD; Jieli Lu, MD, PhD; Li Yan, MD; Min Xu, MD, PhD; Tiange Wang, MD, PhD; Zhiyun Zhao, MD, PhD; Meng Dai, BS; Di Zhang, MS; Qin Wan, MD; Yanan Huo, MD; Lulu Chen, MD, PhD; Lixin Shi, MD; Ruying Hu, PhD; Xulei Tang, MD; Qing Su, MD; Xuefeng Yu, MD; Yingfen Qin, MD; Gang Chen, MD; Zhengnan Gao, MD; Guixia Wang, MD; Feixia Shen, MD; Zuojie Luo, MD; Li Chen, MD; Yuhong Chen, MD; Yinfei Zhang, MD; Chao Liu, MD; Youmin Wang, MD; Shengli Wu, MD; Tao Yang, MD; Qiang Li, MD; Yufang Bi, MD, PhD; Jiajun Zhao, MD, PhD; Yiming Mu, MD, PhD.

Disclosures: The authors reported no financial disclosures

The article, titled “Cardiovascular Risk Based on ASCVD and KDIGO Categories in Chinese Adults: A Nationwide, Population-based, Prospective Cohort Study,” will appear online at http://jasn.asnjournals.org/ on March 4, 2021, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2020060856.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Since 1966, ASN has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has more than 21,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, visit www.asn-online.org.

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