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Renal Failure and Its Effect on the Cardiovascular System

By Allyson3james


The heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the end-stage renal disease. Often it seems that the renal failure risk factors such as the high blood pressure has its effect on the cardiovascular system and may lead to atherosclerosis.

Fluid and potassium overload

The kidneys play a significant role to regulate the fluid balance in the body. In case your kidneys stop working, then the fluid builds up quickly in the heart, lungs, brain and other body tissues. This will increase the workload of the heart which could lead to heart failure. The excess fluid also causes a rise in the blood pressure that is detrimental for the kidneys as for other parts of the body. Also the failed kidneys cannot control potassium effectively and the high levels of this mineral which affect the heart and hence it is very life threatening.

Renal failure and its effect on the cardiovascular system


Chronic renal failure is characterized by anaemia wherein you will have insufficient red blood cells. This is due to the loss of kidney cells which produce an important hormone called as the erythropoietin which stimulates the bone marrow to make your oxygen carrying red blood cells.  Having anaemia can put strain on the heart which will increase the demand of oxygen by increasing the heart rate and the output.

Dialysis and the fistula

If you need dialysis then a fistula is created to provide an access to your blood. This is done by connecting an artery and a vein, most often on your arm. The fistula, anaemia, fluid excess and hypertension contribute to certain hemodynamic factors putting strain on your cardiovascular system. Even the insufficient dialysis can lead to pericarditis which is an inflammation of the heart’s outer layers. During the dialysis, excess fluid will be removed and the chemicals are balanced. The electrolyte disturbances during this process can lead to irregular heart rhythm.


The kidneys are the waste collectors of the body and when they fail the wastes will build up in the blood. When the dietary protein is broken down a product called as urea is formed. The high levels of urea is called uremia which literally means “urine in the blood” is a toxic condition to the body which could lead to a dangerous inflammation of the outer layers of the heart, the pericardium. Hence it is treated with dialysis.

Atherosclerosis and heart attack

The heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the end-stage renal disease. It seems to be related to the artherosclerosis and other risk factors which are found in the renal failure such as the high blood pressure. Although people without kidney problems also show a high incidence of the heart disease, but those with kidney failures have various factors that increase their risk. The co-existing diseases such as diabetes often causes the kidney failure, are per se a major risk factor for the heart disease. The high blood fats will lead to atherosclerosis which occludes the coronary arteries and lead to the heart attack and angina.

Hypertension – high blood pressure

Hypertension is a vital underlying cause of kidney failure. On the other hand, kidney failure can lead to hypertension. If the kidneys are unable to regulate the excess fluid and salt build up in the body rapidly then it contributes to high blood pressure. With loss of kidney cells, an overproduction of rennin that elevates the blood pressure can follow. Controlling hypertension in patients with renal failure as this is crucial as it accelerates the renal injury from other causes such as diabetes. High blood pressure also damaged the inner lining of the blood vessels hence promotes the formation of fatty deposits inside them. Certain hypertension drugs help limiting the progression of renal failure.

Final Verdict

Check with your doctor to know more about the renal failure effects on the cardiovascular system. Get free online consultation at 91-9371136499 or [email protected].


Renal failure and its effect on the cardiovascular system

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