Newswise — Rockville, Md. (July 8, 2020)—Men who suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD) have greater rates of reduced blood vessel function, or endothelial function, compared to women with the same disorder. However, when accounting for age, men and women under 55 were found to have higher blood vessel function than their older counterparts. The findings are presented in a first-of-its-kind study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology. The study, chosen as an APSselect article for July, was conducted among a cohort of more than 200 men and women over the course of four years. 

The study also concluded younger women had higher blood vessel function than younger men—another first in scientific literature—though these differences were shown to dissipate with age. 

“It confirms several other lines of evidence from pre-clinical and clinical studies suggesting that the one-size-fits-all principle is no longer an acceptable approach to examine sex and aging disparities in vascular function in humans,” said Nicholas T. Kruse, PhD, one of the primary researchers on the study.

The endothelium is a lining of cells that covers the inner walls of the blood vessels. Impairment of the endothelium—also known as endothelial dysfunction—is common in people with CKD. Until this study, it was unknown whether sex differences played a major role in the severity of endothelial dysfunction in CKD.

Approximately 37 million people in the U.S. suffer from CKD, according to the National Kidney Foundation. The Foundation estimates CKD kills more people than breast cancer or prostate cancer. It is considered an under-recognized public health crisis.

Read the full article, “Sex differences in endothelial function in chronic kidney disease,” published in the American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology. It is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program. Read all of this month’s selected research articles.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact the APS Communications Office or call 301.634.7314. Find more research highlights in our News Room.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents 9,000 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

Journal Link: American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology