New Study Reconsiders Blood Pressure Targets for Kidney Disease Patients

Rates of Kidney Failure in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease are Tied to Higher Blood Pressure Targets than Previously Advised

(NEW YORK, NY)—January 18, 2012 — High blood pressure has always been linked with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but doctors have debated for years what blood pressure targets would slow the disease’s progression toward kidney failure.

A new study, published in the January 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, indicates that blood pressure targets for those with kidney disease may have been more stringent than necessary. The findings could help doctors treat kidney disease patients who are also suffering from high blood pressure.

Using data from the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) database, doctors analyzed associations between blood pressure levels and End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or kidney failure, in patients suffering from Stage 3 and Stage 4 kidney disease. A higher risk for developing ESRD was observed among people with blood pressures of 140/90 or higher, but those who had blood pressure measurements of 150/90 and above were at highest risk. Currently, those with hypertension and CKD are advised to keep their blood pressures below 130/80.

Additionally, the study found that that more than 30% of people with CKD had blood pressures of >150/90, the highest risk group.

“Our study highlights the importance of blood pressure control in peoples with CKD, but it suggests that a target of 140/90 may suffice to delay progression to End Stage Renal Disease. Lower targets are extremely difficult to achieve in clinical practice where patients suffer from other conditions and take many medications. Our findings suggest to the clinician that efforts should concentrate on lowering the blood pressure of those extremely out of control, rather than fine-tuning the blood pressure of those already at 140/90,” said Dr. Carmen Peralta, the study’s lead author and member of the National Kidney Foundation’s KEEP steering committee.

Data for the study was gathered from more than 16,000 participants in the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program. The program offers free health screenings for individuals at increased risk of developing kidney disease. Since its inception, the program has screened more than 170,000 Americans.

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation. For more information about risk factors and a schedule of KEEP screenings, visit www.kidney.org.