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RA Puts Kidneys at Risk

Marianne Wait writing for Arthritis Today reported people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are almost 5 percent more likely than other people to develop reduced kidney function, a sign of chronic kidney disease, according to a study published recently in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
Although that figure may not sound high, senior study author Eric Matteson, MD, chair of the rheumatology department at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., says it’s significant. “It’s a big deal when you think there’s 1.5 million patients with RA, and how frequent kidney disease is becoming in the population.”
This study looked at the health records of 1,623 people – 813 people who were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis between 1980 and 2007 and 813 people without RA who were similar in terms of age, gender, weight and other factors. Among those who had normal kidney function when they entered the study, 25 percent of those with RA and 20 percent of those without RA developed mildly or moderately reduced kidney function over 20 years. There was no difference in the rate of severe kidney dysfunction.
RA patients who had high levels of inflammation in the first year after RA diagnosis (as measured by the blood test known as erythrocyte sedimentation rate, or “sed rate”) were more likely than others to develop reduced kidney function. “The general conclusion from that is that inflammation is a risk factor for renal dysfunction,” says Dr. Matteson.
Comment: The risk is not impressive at first glance but it is significant.

Rheumatoid arthritis | ra kidney disease
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