A new study has revealed that people with impaired kidney function are at a higher risk of future stroke than people with normal kidney function.
A second study found that even the earliest stages of chronic kidney disease are linked to a higher risk of coronary heart disease.
This study suggests that considering signs of early kidney disease, in addition to routinely measured risk factors such as blood pressure and blood cholesterol, modestly improves the identification of people at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
In the first study, researchers from Taiwan and the USA investigated the link between low glomerular filtration rate or GFR (the flow rate of fluid filtering through the kidneys) and risk of future stroke.
They analysed the results of 33 studies involving over 280,000 individuals and found that people with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of less than 60 ml/min/1.73m2 (the normal range is 100-130 ml/min/1.73m2) had a 43% greater risk of future stroke than people with a normal eGFR.
They also found that Asian people with a low eGFR were at higher risk of future stroke than their non-Asian counterparts.
In the second study, UK and Icelandic researchers tracked 16,958 people living in Reykjavik over 24 years and found that even the earliest stages of chronic kidney disease were at increased risk of developing coronary heart disease.
The researchers also found a suggestive association between chronic kidney disease and increased risk of death from causes other than cardiovascular disease or cancer, recommending the need for further studies to investigate this link in more detail.
Both the studies are published on bmj.com.