Even A Modest Reduction In Kidney Function Increases Health Risks In Young Adults, Finds Study

23 Jun 2023 • A study of more than 8 million adults in Ontario, Canada suggests that even a modest loss of kidney function is associated with increased health risks. The study, published in The BMJ, could lead to better approaches to prevent chronic kidney disease and related conditions, particularly in younger adults.

The researchers studied more than 8 million adults in Ontario, Canada, examining health record data from 2008 to 2021 for every Ontario adult aged 18 to 65 who had at least one blood test for kidney function, but no history of kidney disease.

The study authors found that 18% of those in the 18-to-39 age group had kidney function that was "modestly below normal levels," though not low enough to be diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Patients in this “gray zone” had a modestly increased risk of kidney failure, death and heart attack.

For example, a 20% to 30% loss in kidney function was associated with a 1.4-fold increase in death. It was also associated with a 1.3-fold increase in a cardiac event and a sixfold increase in the risk of kidney failure, the data revealed.

Modest eGFR reductions were consistently associated with higher rates of adverse outcomes. Higher relative hazards were most prominent and occurred as early as eGFR <80 mL/min/1.73m2 in younger adults, compared with older groups. These findings suggest a role for more frequent monitoring of kidney function in younger adults to identify individuals at risk to prevent chronic kidney disease and its complications.

Source: BMJ | Read full story

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