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Heart disease (also called cardiovascular disease) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) can interact in ways that can be devastating. Cardiorenal Syndrome actually refers to several conditions, all of which involve the failure of both the kidneys and the heart. When one organ fails, the other often follows. The relationship between kidney failure and heart failure works in both directions – someone with heart disease is at increased risk for having a problem with their kidneys; and kidney disease can cause or worsen heart disease. Some medical conditions can also cause both organs to fail at the same time.
HOW HEART DISEASE IMPACTS THE KIDNEYS: Hypertension, high blood pressure, and heart failure can all lead to kidney disease. Even mild forms of hypertension can damage the kidneys over several short years; and severe high blood pressure will cause kidney malfunction over a relatively short period of time. High blood pressure makes the heart work harder and, over time, can damage blood vessels throughout the body, including those that are used by the kidneys.
HOW KIDNEY DISEASE CAN IMPACT THE HEART: Kidney failure compromises heart health, potentially leading to heart failure or stroke. Individuals with kidney disease are 10-20 times more likely than those without kidney disease to experience heart disease; and we now know that these patients are more likely to die of heart failure before complications directly related to their kidneys.