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Johns Hopkins Health - High Blood Pressure May Take Its Toll on Your Kidneys

Fall 2010
Issue No. 10

High Blood Pressure May Take Its Toll on Your Kidneys

Date: October 20, 2010

african american woman taking blood pressure of african american man

It’s not news that hypertension increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, but new research is discovering it can also increase your risk for kidney disease.

“Hypertension is the second leading cause of kidney disease in America after diabetes,” says nephrologist Deidra Crews, M.D.

Crews and her Johns Hopkins colleagues recently completed a study on the link between high blood pressure and kidney disease, showing that 27.5 percent of people with diagnosed hypertension also suffer from kidney disease. But even more startling is that 22 percent of study participants with previously undiagnosed high blood pressure also suffered from kidney disease.

The message is clear: “If you’re a patient with high blood pressure, ask your doctor to test for kidney disease, too,” Crews says.

And even if you haven’t been diagnosed, know what your blood pressure is. Chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, and even those with prehypertension are at risk.

Risk factors for both hypertension and kidney disease include obesity, inactivity and heart disease.

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