Patients receiving dialysis 'at higher risk for sudden cardiac death'

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Washington, Nov 15 (ANI): A new research has revealed that patients receiving dialysis are at a heightened risk for sudden cardiac death.

"Patients on dialysis are excluded from clinical trials examining sudden cardiac death because of their kidney disease. The lack of research complicates clinicians' ability to understand the connection between renal disease and cardiovascular disease," said Rod Passman, medical director for the Center for Atrial Fibrillation at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Sudden cardiac death is unexpected natural death from a cardiac cause within a short time period, generally less than an hour from the onset of symptoms in a person without prior condition that would appear fatal.

"A study by the United States Renal Disease Data System (USRDS) indicates longer dialysis duration is associated with higher mortality. This data also leads us to believe that end-stage renal disease is a primary promoter of cardiac disease and increased risk for sudden cardiac death," Passman said.

"The best methods for prevention are medicinal options, including beta-adrenergic blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin type II receptor blockers (ARB), or both external and implantable defibrillators."

The team also found that patients who suffered a cardiac arrest during dialysis were twice as likely to be on low-potassium dialysate versus higher levels of potassium, which were associated with the best survival rates.

"The lack of research and study of cardiovascular disease in kidney patients is a problem that must be addressed. By understanding why dialysis patients are at such great risk for sudden cardiac death, we can begin to develop better standards for prevention," Passman concluded. (ANI)

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