According to lead author, Dr Vlado Perkovic of The George Institute for International Health, Sydney, most of the CKD population die from cardiovascular complications. Therefore, he explains, the new research can have significant implications for millions of people across the world.
"People with Chronic Kidney Disease are at a significantly greater risk of cardiovascular events than those without the disease. We found that approximately twice as many cardiovascular events were prevented when a perindopril based blood pressure lowering regimen was used in these people, compared to people with normal kidney function," Dr. Perkovic said.
The results are based on a unique data set of around 1,800 patients who were part of a large clinical trial conducted on blood pressure and stroke, called Progress.
"The findings from Progress have shifted the focus away from treating individuals with high blood pressure to focusing on those people at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke. This research suggests that kidney function is an important parameter to consider in identifying these high risk individuals," Dr Perkovic said.
Progress was completed in 2001 and had a direct clinical impact for more than 50 million individuals with cerebrovascular disease worldwide. Results showed that blood pressure lowering reduced the risk of stroke by a quarter among patients with a history of cerebrovascular disease.
CKD affects approximately one in six adults in Western Countries, and this proportion increases rapidly with increasing age. Over the last 25 years, while the Australian population has grown less than 40 percent, the number of Australians being treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant has grown more than 400 percent.
Data from the Australian Bureau of statistics collected between 1997 and 1999 showed that approximately one in 10 death certificates listed kidney disease as the underlying or as an associated cause of death. The true contribution of kidney disease to premature mortality is likely to be significantly higher.