The message for World Kidney Day 2009: hypertension and kidney disease – a marriage that should be prevented

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The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) continues to increase worldwide as does end-stage renal disease. The most common, but not the only, causes of CKD are hypertension and diabetes. CKD is associated with a significant increase in cardiovascular risk as most patients with CKD die of a cardiovascular cause. Moreover, cardiovascular risk increases proportionally as estimated glomerular filtration rate falls below 60 ml/min. Cardiovascular causes of death in CKD are more prevalent than those from cancer; as a result, the identification and reduction of CKD is a public health priority. High blood pressure is a key pathogenic factor that contributes to the deterioration of kidney function. The presence of kidney disease is a common and underappreciated preexisting medical cause of resistant hypertension. Therefore, treatment of hypertension has become the most important intervention in the management of all forms of CKD. For this reason, the forthcoming World Kidney Day on 12 March 2009 will emphasize the role of hypertension.

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