Scientists have identified an important link between kidney damage and cardiac problems, creating new possibilities for treating the primary cause of death in kidney disease patients.
Researchers tracked a chain reaction that leads from kidney damage to weakening of the skeleton to increased phosphorous in the blood. They showed that higher phosphorous levels were directly linked to vascular calcification, a stiffening of the smooth muscle cells that line blood vessels. Vascular calcification leads to enlargement of one of the hearts four chambers, increased risk of congestive heart failure, heart attack and several other cardiac problems.
Mice treated with an experimental medication that alleviates the skeletal weakening brought on by kidney damage had normal phosphorous levels and decreased signs of vascular calcification.
Michael C. Purdy | EurekAlert!
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