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Dialysis Patients with Metabolic Syndrome Show Increased Risk for Heart Disease


A study of kidney dialysis patients found that nearly 70 percent had metabolic syndrome, a set of symptoms that is a predictor of cardiovascular disease, at the time they initiated maintenance dialysis. This information further illuminates the relationship between heart and kidney disease, as dialysis patients are already known to have an elevated risk of cardiovascular problems.

“Metabolic syndrome is a term we apply to anyone having three of the following five criteria: abdominal obesity, elevated triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol (also known as “good cholesterol”) levels, high blood pressure, or high blood glucose after fasting,” says study author Dr. Daniel Young. The study also showed that white, female and diabetic dialysis patients showed the highest incidence of metabolic syndrome.

Dr. Young sees potential to use metabolic syndrome as a medical diagnostic tool. “Checking new dialysis patients for these criteria may assist us in identifying the patients most vulnerable to cardiovascular disease in this population.” In addition, he suggests that additional research involving metabolic syndrome and the earlier stages of kidney disease may yield important insights into the diagnosis of kidney disease itself.

This study is published in Hemodialysis International. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact

Daniel Young, M.D. is a second year postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. He can be reached for questions at

Originally published annually, since 2003 Hemodialysis International has published quarterly issues containing original papers on clinical and experimental topics related to dialysis, in addition to the Annual Dialysis Conference Proceedings. This journal is a must-have for nephrologists, nurses and technicians worldwide. For more information, please visit

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