Causes of heart disease in kidney disease patients: looking for a new approach
Dr Soma Meran’s work is supported by a Kidney Research UK and Kidney Wales studentship grant of £75,000.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in kidney patients. Currently available medicines often don’t work well in kidney patients because, unlike in the general population, their heart disease is often caused by calcium and phosphate building up in blood vessels. This is called vascular-calcification (VC) and has no treatment.
Dr Meran and team at Cardiff University will investigate what causes VC so that new, more specific, treatments can be developed to improve heart health in kidney patients. The research team think that high levels of inflammation in kidney disease can cause changes in the walls of arteries, encouraging them to harden into a bone-like state. By studying cells, laboratory models and blood samples, they will investigate the link between inflammation and changes in artery walls that may lead to heart disease.
“As a kidney patient, finding out I also had a heart condition was difficult news. Heart disease can contribute to exhaustion and can complicate the journey to a transplant. This research offers hope that one day we will be able to prevent or treat heart disease in kidney patients.” Alex Taylor
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