How are Kidney Health and Heart Health Related?

The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen through all parts of your body, including the kidneys. The kidneys control blood pressure and clean the blood (by removing waste). Without the kidneys, your blood would have too much waste and water putting pressure on your heart to pump extra fluid around your body. Without the heart, your kidneys would not have the oxygen-filled blood needed to do its many important jobs.

Watch our Kidney Health and Heart Heath Go Hand In Hand webinar, highlighting the links between the two. Speakers:

Professor George Mellotte - National Clinical Lead, National Renal Office
Maeve Frawley - Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist, Croí Heart & Stroke Charity
Paul Owens - Patient Story
Carol Moore - CEO, Irish Kidney Association
Colin White - National Advocacy and Projects Manager, Irish Kidney Association

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Know Your Numbers

Know your Blood Pressure target. This is usually less than 140/90, but for some people is less than 130/80 (ask your doctor). If you have Diabetes make sure you know your target blood sugar range and your HbA1c (this is a test that gives the average blood sugar over the previous 2-3 months). You should also know your GFR (glomerular filtration rate) which measures how well your kidneys works. If you have Chronic Kidney Disease or Heart Disease you should know your weight and monitor it as increasing weight could be caused by your body retaining fluid.

A Two Way Relationship

Diabetes and High Blood Pressure (also known as Hypertension) are leading causes of Chronic Kidney Disease and leading causes of Heart Disease. However, even without High Blood Pressure or Diabetes, having Chronic Kidney Disease on its own puts you at higher risk of developing heart problems, and if you have Heart Disease, from any cause, you are more likely to develop kidney problems than people without heart disease. Anaemia in Chronic Kidney Disease is very common. Anaemia reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen meaning that the heart must work extra hard to get the required amount of oxygen to the cells and organs for them to function properly. This extra work can lead to damage to the heart.

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Produced by the Irish Kidney Association in association with the HSE National Renal Office
This campaign is supported by an unrestricted grant from AstraZeneca
The Irish Kidney Association would like to thank the following for their help in sharing this campaign:

United Drug
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