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Kidney Int. 2010 Jul;78(1):14-8. doi: 10.1038/ki.2010.123. Epub 2010 May 5.

Cardio-Kidney-Damage: a unifying concept.

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  • 1Sheffield Kidney Institute, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK.


The perceived global rise in chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been met with apprehension and skepticism. It has been argued by some that we are facing a CKD 'epidemic' and by others that the high prevalence of CKD observed in different communities may be the result of flawed screening methods and tools. Both estimation of glomerular filtration rate and determination of microalbuminuria as markers of CKD have been criticized. Also, many commented that CKD, as currently defined, was primarily a disease of elderly people with reduced kidney function. Some described this as a physiological age-related decline in kidney function while others consider it to be pathological, warranting the label of a disease. In this review, an attempt is made to reconcile different views by examining some of the available evidence and to conclude that the high prevalence of 'CKD' in the elderly population is likely to reflect the underlying high prevalence of overt and subclinical atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. This leads to the conclusion that CKD is a reflection of diffuse and age-related Cardio-Kidney-Damage (C-K-D) that may not warrant the label of disease but certainly justifies attention with reduction of lifelong cardiovascular risks and careful evaluation and treatment.

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