02/15/2007 - News

Patients with kidney disease and low blood pressure face stroke risk

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Patients with kidney disease and low blood pressure face stroke risk

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

Low blood pressure is linked to stroke risk in kidney patients, according to a new study.
It is already known that people with high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease (CKD) face an increased risk of a stroke. Now researchers at Tufts-New England Medical Center reveal that low blood pressure can also be a risk factor for people with CKD.

They looked at data on more than 20,000 US citizens in a study on heart disease risk. In this group, 7.6 per cent had CKD and were found to be at increased risk of having a stroke. With or without CKD, high blood pressure increased the risk of stroke too. But in the CKD patients, systolic blood pressure lower than 120 mm Hg was also linked to increased stroke risk compared to those with systolic blood pressures of 120-129 mm Hg. The impact was greatest among those receiving drugs to lower their blood pressure. However, the design of the study does not allow conclusions about any possible danger of lowering blood pressure in this way. But it is an area requiring further investigation. Those on blood pressure lowering drugs should not stop them suddenly - they need to talk to their doctor first about any potential problems with systolic blood pressure that is too low.

Journal of the American Society of Nephrology March 2007

Created on: 02/15/2007
Reviewed on: 02/15/2007

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