Dialysis linked to sudden cardiac deaths

Nov. 15, 2010 at 1:48 AM

CHICAGO, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Patients on dialysis are at greater risk of sudden cardiac death, a U.S. cardiologist says.

Dr. Rod Passman of Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital is calling on physicians to examine how to lower the risks of sudden cardiac death in dialysis patients. Data, he says, indicates about 27 percent of dialysis patient mortalities are due to sudden cardiac death.

Passman says sudden cardiac death is unexpected natural death within a short time period from onset of symptoms from a previously unknown cardiac cause -- often abnormal heart rhythms.

"Patients on dialysis are excluded from clinical trials examining sudden cardiac death because of their kidney disease. The lack of research complicates clinicians' ability to understand the connection between renal disease and cardiovascular disease," Passman says in a statement. "The medical community needs to stop neglecting this community of patients because it is a rapidly growing group."

Passman is scheduled to present his paper at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

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