Chronic Kidney Disease Chapter 11

Anemia, CKD, and Heart Disease


The Link Joining CKD and Heart Disease

When the kidneys are damaged, they don't produce enough of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) to create an adequate number of red blood cells, resulting in anemia. The heart tries to compensate for the lack of red blood cells by pumping even harder, eventually enlarging the heart and causing more cardiovascular damage. The weakened heart can no longer pump sufficient amounts of blood to the body's tissues. Fluid waste, or edema, begins to back up into the lungs, and it becomes difficult to breathe. The final result is congestive heart failure.

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