October 26, 1994
Media Contact:Marc Kusinitz
Phone: (410) 955-8665

Even small increases in blood pressure in men can nearly double their likelihood of suffering kidney failure over a 15-year period.

The finding is significant because, unlike the decline in mortality from stroke and other blood pressure-related diseases, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States is becoming more common, according to Michael J. Klag, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and first author.

Klag's group studied 361,659 men in the Health Care Finance Administration national ESRD treatment registry for a mean follow-up time of 15.3 years, during which period 924 men (1 in 391) developed ESRD.

The researchers found that people with a diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 120 mmHg or over were 30 times more likely to develop ESRD than men with DBS under 70 mmHg. Those with systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 200 or over were 48 times more likely to develop ESRD than men with SBP under 120 mmHg.

Moreover, differences as small as 11 mmHg in DBP or 16 mmHg in SBP double the risk of developing ESRD.

These findings of increased risk were independent of age, race, number of cigarettes smoked, previous heart attack, diabetes, income and serum cholesterol.

This is the first study to indicate that an increase in blood pressure is a strong, independent risk factor for the development of ESRD.

-- JHMI --
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