How heart health, even at a younger age, reduces kidney disease risk

Evan Walker
Evan Walker TheMediTary.Com |
A young man and woman jog at nightShare on Pinterest
Experts say exercise is one way to maintain good heart health at a younger age. Javier Díez/Stocksy
  • Researchers report that young adults with good heart health scores have a reduced disease risk of 65%.
  • Those who improved their heart health scores also lowered their risk of heart and kidney disease.
  • The researchers noted, however, that only 1 percent of subjects in their study had “ideal” heart health.

Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle not only dramatically reduces your odds of developing heart disease and stroke, but it can cut your risk of kidney disease as well.

The according to preliminary findings from a new study that were presented this week at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention│Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Scientific Sessions 2024 in Chicago.

The research has not been published yet in a peer-viewed journal.

The researchers say their study not only highlights the benefits of being physically active as well as maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and controlling your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, but also the strong links between heart and kidney health.

“Most of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease also correlate to kidney disease,” Dr. Arun Manmadhan, an assistant professor of cardiology at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and an attending physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, told Medical News Today.

Manmadhan said that, ideally, heart and kidney disease should be treated together.

Notably, Columbia University Irving Medical Center maintains a special practice on cardionephrology in order to provide holistic treatment for heart and kidney diseases.

“Of all the medical specialties, nephrologists are the ones we work most closely with,” Manmadhan said. “The kidneys aren’t just blood filters, they also secrete hormones and regulate blood pressure. This study is a reminder that there is a lot of interplay between the organs.”

Dr. Majid Basit, a cardiologist with the Memorial Hermann Medical Group in Houston, said that high blood pressure — a well-known cause of cardiovascular disease — is also a leading cause of kidney disease.

“High blood pressure is a great indicator of future problems with the kidneys,” Basit, who wasn’t involved in the new study, told Medical News Today.

He added that screening younger people for signs of hypertension as well as more organ-specific markers such as elevated creatine levels could help delineate kidney disease risk alongside cardiovascular risk

“We do standard testing for kidney disease but don’t make a big deal out of it,” Basit noted. “We should be doing more aggressive messaging like we do for heart disease.”

Share this Article