Small Decline in Kidney Function Can Still Lead to Heart Damage

HealthDay News – Even a slight decline in kidney function can potentially lead to heart damage, according to research published online January 11 in Hypertension.

The study included 68 living kidney donors (average age 47) who were followed for a year after donating a kidney. They were compared with a control group of 56 people (average age 44) who did not donate a kidney.

Compared to those in the control group, the kidney donors had an expected decrease in kidney function, an increase in left ventricular mass, and increased risk of developing detectable cardiac troponin. There was no difference in blood pressure between the 2 groups.

“Even in very healthy people, a small reduction in kidney function from normal to just a bit below normal was associated with an increase in the mass of the left ventricle,” senior author Jonathan Townend, MD, a professor of cardiology at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in the United Kingdom, said in a journal news release.


Moody WE, Ferro CJ, Edwards NC, et al; for the CRIB-Donor Study Investigators. Cardiovascular effects of unilateral nephrectomy in living kidney donors. Hypertension. 2016;67. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.115.06608.