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The Hidden Path to Heart Disease

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 4:33 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
KidneyA diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension often acts as a wakeup call. People react to the information with a new sense of purpose. They are driven to alter their lives for the better, concerned that their current habits will lead them to an early grave. Diets are changed, medications are taken and exercise is added to the daily routine. All aspects of health are examined except, it seems, for one.

In the past decade, prevalence of kidney disease has risen from 10 to 13 percent.  This incline is due in part to the large number of diabetes and hypertension cases in the United States. However, very few patients receive the tests needed to detect kidney disease.  They remain unaware of their risk, because they are unaware of the condition. As such, they are allowing their kidneys to function improperly. Waste is accumulating in their blood, which can lead to kidney failure at high levels. But before that even happens, sufferers often develop anemia, weak bones, nerve damage and heart disease. More patients with kidney disease die from cardiovascular conditions than they do from kidney failure.

Therefore, it is important that you are aware of your kidneys. Right now 13 percent may seem small, but the number will grow as the number of diabetes and hypertension cases grow. You may very well be at risk right now. In fact, for every person who already has kidney disease, another has a heightened chance of developing it. So, see your doctor and have the tests (both are simple and inexpensive). If it turns out that you do have kidney disease, early treatment can help prevent kidney failure. Lifestyle changes can help prevent heart disease.  You can remain healthy, but you have to become aware, first.

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