House Call: Hypertension and your kidneys Pt. 1

Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 5:35 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. In the first part of our three part series, Hypertension and Kidney Disease, Dr. Lewis Akers, Nephrologist at UHC Nephrology, joins us to talk about hypertension and how it can affect your kidneys.

1). How does high blood pressure affect the kidneys?

High blood pressure can constrict and narrow the blood vessels, which eventually damages and weakens the vessels throughout the body, including in the kidneys. The narrowing reduces blood flow.

If your kidneys’ blood vessels are damaged, they may no longer work properly. When this happens, the kidneys are not able to remove all wastes and extra fluid from your body. Extra fluid in the blood vessels can raise your blood pressure even more, creating a dangerous cycle, and cause more damage leading to kidney failure.

2). How common are high blood pressure and kidney disease?

Almost 1 in 2 U.S. adults—or about 108 million people—have high blood pressure.

More than 1 in 7 U.S. adults—or about 37 million people—may have chronic kidney disease (CKD).

High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure in the United States after diabetes.

3). Who is more likely to have high blood pressure or kidney disease?

High blood pressure

  • You are more likely to have high blood pressure if you:
  • are older. Blood pressures tends to increase with age. Our blood vessels naturally thicken and stiffen over time.
  • have family members with high blood pressure. High blood pressure tends to run in families.
  • have unhealthy lifestyle habits. Unhealthy habits such as eating too much sodium (salt), drinking too many alcoholic beverages, or not being physically active can increase your risk of high blood pressure.
  • are African American. High blood pressure is more common in African American adults than in Caucasian, Hispanic, or Asian adults.
  • are male. Men are more likely to develop high blood pressure before age 55; women are more likely to develop it after age 55.

Kidney disease

  • In addition to high blood pressure, other factors that increase your risk of kidney disease are:
  • diabetes
  • a family history of kidney failure
  • race or ethnicity—African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians tend to have a greater risk for CKD

High blood pressure can be both a cause and a result of kidney disease.

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