Content updated on March 16, 2021 - Medically reviewed by our Medical Advisory Committee

Heart disease can cause kidney disease, but kidney disease can also cause heart disease. Heart disease is the most common cause of death among people on dialysis. The term heart disease refers to problems with your heart and blood vessels. It is also called cardiovascular disease.

How does kidney failure lead to heart problems?

When your kidneys are not working well, they cannot support the other parts of your body as they should. This can cause problems with your heart.

Kidney disease can cause anemia. When you have anemia, your heart and other organs cannot get enough oxygen. This can cause a heart attack.

Your kidneys help control your blood pressure. When your kidneys aren’t working well, your blood pressure can be too high. High blood pressure can lead to serious problems, such as heart attack and stroke.

Kidney disease can also cause problems with the amounts of calcium and phosphorus in your blood. When you do not have the right amount of calcium or phosphorus in your body, the major blood vessels that connect to your heart can be damaged.

Return to top

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

Heart disease often does not have any symptoms until your heart and blood vessels are badly damaged. The best way to prevent heart disease is to prevent the problems that can lead to it, such as anemia, high blood pressure and problems with calcium and phosphate levels.

Return to top