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Heart Disease (Cardiovascular Disease)

Diseases of the heart and blood vessels, also called cardiovascular disease, can damage your kidneys. 

Recent studies show that cardiovascular disease may cause chronic kidney disease (CKD).

If you already have kidney disease, cardiovascular disease can make it worse. 

Cardiovascular disease kills more patients on dialysis than anything else, causing almost half of all dialysis deaths.


Your cardiovascular system



If you have cardiovascular disease:

1.  Get tested.  Talk to your doctor about being tested for kidney disease.  Many patients with kidney disease never have any symptoms until it is too late.
2.  Eat right.  Eat foods low in fat and cholesterol.  Eat foods that are high in fiber.  Limit how much alcohol you drink.
3.  Live healthy.  Exercise, keep a healthy weight, don’t smoke or use tobacco, and treat bladder and kidney infections fast.
4.  Manage high blood pressure.  High blood pressure can make your cardiovascular disease worse and also causes kidney disease.  A normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 (120 over 80).  Get more information on high blood pressure here. 

More Information

American Heart Association

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Updated on 2/11/2008.


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