If you have kidney disease, you have a three times higher risk of heart disease and premature death. Many people are unaware that kidney dysfunction greatly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which can lead to an event such as a heart attack or stroke.

When your kidneys don't work properly, waste products build up in your blood, and your body's hormones are disturbed. Those changes can affect how your heart and blood vessels work.

The kidneys help to maintain your body's chemical balance which in turn plays an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure.

What to do in severe CKD ?

1. Hemodialysis :- This is an artificial method of purifying the blood of the accumulating waste products, so that life could be sustained in spite of kidney failure.

In addition to dialysis, one has to continue Diet control and all other medications for control of Blood sugar, blood pressure and other complications, like anaemia, blood vessel disease, heart disease, bone disease etc., to ensure an active life.

2. Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) :- This is a very useful and practical option for long term management and better rehabilitation.

The advantages are that it can be done at home, by the patient himself or by a caring relative and keep the waste products in blood under control on a continuous basis. This ensures certain advantages in Dietary intake, BP control and Heart disease management. CAPD as a form of therapy for End stage kidney disease, especially for patients who are not able to go for kidney transplantation is offering better quality of life compared to long term Hemodialysis.

Though such scientific and viable alternatives are available, the aim and thrust should be on prevention of kidney disease, keeping the kidney disease under control and slowing the rate at which CKD will progress, prevent all possible complications including End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

The new theme on this year's World Kidney Day is to go one step ahead and prevent heart disease that results from CKD. Early detection is the safest bet!

We now know that kidney dysfunction is a risk factor for heart disease, and that heart disease is a risk factor for kidney dysfunction, so if you think you have one of these, it's very important that you get tested for both !

Dr.T. Dinakaran,


Director & Chief Nephrologist