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To prevent stroke, check (also) your kidneys

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To prevent stroke, check (also) your kidneys

If you see a lot of protein in your urine, talk to your doctor. And not just to find out if you have to deal with chronic kidney disease, which affects about one in ten people in a more or less severe form. In the presence of proteinuria, that is, of proteins in the pee tube, together with a limited “cleaning” function of the blood by the kidney (translated, a poor filtration function) the risk of suffering a stroke can increase.

The connection between kidneys, heart and brain

A research conducted in Japan by experts of the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Centerpublished on Neurology. In fact, the study shows that for those suffering from chronic renal failure the risk would be particularly high for stroke linked to an embolism originating from the heart.

The study looked at more than 10,000 stroke patients whose data was collected as part of the Japan Stroke Data Bankunder the coordination of Kaori Miwa. The registry takes into account a number of people with computerized medical records and acutely managed in specialized centers.

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Thanks to this extremely precise information, the association between low renal filtration rates in conjunction with high levels of protein in the urine and cardioembolic stroke has been revealed.

But that’s not enough. In addition to the increased risk of cardioembolic stroke, the low filtration rate also correlates with an increased risk of disability after the acute cerebrovascular event. Poor renal filtration capacity and particularly significant proteinuria, on the other hand, are linked to a greater risk of death during hospitalization.

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“Our results show conclusively that there is a statistically significant association between renal failure and clinical outcomes after specific subtypes of ischemic stroke.” Kazunori Toyoda, among the authors of the publication. Given that nearly 10% of the world‘s population suffers from chronic kidney disease, the information provided by this large-scale study could help predict stroke risk and eventual prognosis in many of these patients. “

The importance of study data for stroke prevention

The study is of great importance in a preventive key for those facing kidney diseases. And above all, it confirms the value of monitoring the function of the kidneys in terms of cardiovascular prevention. The identification of even mild and asymptomatic renal alterations such as the presence of microalbuminuria (a specific protein) or a slight reduction in the glomerular filtration rate (in practice, the evaluation of how much the kidney “cleans” the blood) allows to identify easily and low-cost hypertension patients at higher risk of developing complications. Just like the stroke.

“Once again, kidney and renal function are shown to be extraordinary markers of cardiovascular risk – he confirms Roberto Pontremoli, director of the Medical Clinic of the University of Genoa. The two biomarkers to stratify risk are the filtration capacity and possible excretion of proteins, which appear in pathological conditions. Even just one of these altered parameters should warn since they have an unfavorable predictive role independently of each other “.

In fact, the study shows that the lower the filtration capacity, the higher the incidence of events and the worse the prognosis. The same happens with proteinuria. But there is more. “Research says albuminuria is a predictor of risk of thrombotic complications, from ischemic strokes to other manifestations, Pontremoli notes. These conditions are present in about 10% and completely asymptomatic and poorly recognized, but should be actively sought to identify. the risk and proceed with specific treatments that can limit it. The kidney, which often falls ill without giving any manifestations, must be taken into consideration for the risk of heart attack and stroke, and more generally of cardiovascular diseases “.

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