What to Know About CKM, the Link Between Heart Health, Diabetes and Kidney Disease – The New York Times

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The three illnesses are closely linked — and increasingly common. Here’s what to know about the shared risk factors for these conditions.

Heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease are among the most common chronic illnesses in the United States — and they’re all closely connected.
Adults with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke compared with those who don’t have diabetes. People with diabetes — Type 1 and Type 2 — are also at risk of developing kidney disease. And when the kidneys don’t work well, a person’s heart has to work even harder to pump blood to them, which can then lead to heart disease.
The three illnesses overlap so much that last year the American Heart Association coined the term cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome to describe patients who have two or more of these diseases, or are at risk of developing them. A new study suggests that nearly 90 percent of American adults already show some early signs of these connected conditions.
While only 15 percent of Americans meet the criteria for advanced stages of C.K.M. syndrome, meaning they have been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease or are at high risk of developing them, the numbers are still “astronomically higher than expected,” said Dr. Rahul Aggarwal, a cardiology fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and co-author of the study.
The research suggests that people should pay attention to shared risk factors for these diseases early on — including excess body fat, uncontrolled blood sugar, high blood pressure and high cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
Your kidneys, heart and metabolic system (which helps process the food you eat into energy and maintains your blood sugar levels) work closely together. If something goes awry with one, it can lead to problems with the others.
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