Volume 12 Issue 307
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 21-Nov-2010 
Next Update - 14:00 UC 08:00 EST 22-Nov-2010

Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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Small amounts of urinary protein predict more rapid cognitive decline in elderly women: Screening efforts in older individuals may be warranted

A new study has found that low amounts of albumin in the urine, at levels not traditionally considered clinically significant, strongly predict faster cognitive decline in older women. The study involved more than 1,200 women aged >70 years in the Nurses' Health Study who were phoned every two years for three cycles and tested for general cognition, verbal/word memory, verbal fluency (speed in making word associations), and working/short-term memory. more  

Urinary protein excretion increases risk of cognitive impairment: Simple urine tests could identify individuals at risk

Two characteristics of kidney disease—excreting protein in the urine (albuminuria) and low kidney function—increase individuals' risk of becoming confused and forgetful. To see whether these two characteristics are related or independent in their effects on cognitive decline, Manjula Kurella Tamura, MD (Stanford University) and her colleagues studied clinical data from 19,399 individuals participating in the Renal Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. more

Kidney disease patients benefit from a diet high in fruits and vegetables: Healthy foods can help maintain kidney function

In patients with kidney disease, the Western diet produces an acidic environment in the body that has numerous negative effects and worsens with age as kidney function declines. Nimirit Goraya, MD (Texas A&M College of Medicine and Scott and White Healthcare) and her colleagues conducted a study to see if consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables that counteract this acidity might improve the kidney health of 40 patients who have moderately reduced kidney function due to high blood pressure. more  

Melatonin improves dialysis patients' sleep: Hormone's effects do not persist, though

Sleep disorders are common in kidney disease patients on dialysis due to a disturbance in their biological clocks. Marije Russcher, PharmD, Birgit Koch, PharmD, PhD, (Meander Medical Center, in Amersfoort, the Netherlands) and colleagues previously found that giving dialysis patients melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and wake cycles, can improve sleep over a short period of time. Now, these researchers have investigated whether the benefits of melatonin on sleep persist over the long term, and if long-term use of melatonin could improve patients' quality of life. 70 dialysis patients received melatonin or a placebo for 1 year. more

Elderly can blame fractures and falls on low sodium  

Older adults with even mildly decreased levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia) experience increased rates of fractures and falls, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition. Falls are a serious health problem for the elderly and account for about 50 percent of deaths due to injury in the elderly. more

Modest amounts of alcohol prevent diabetes and premature death  

Moderate alcohol consumption reduces one's risk for diabetes and premature death in the general population. To find if the same were true for stable kidney transplant recipients, Dorien Zelle (University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands) and her colleagues studied 600 renal transplant recipients who had their transplant more than one prior and followed them for several years post-transplant. more

Dialysis solutions low in calcium increase risk of sudden cardiac arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among kidney disease patients on dialysis. Because hardening of the blood vessels due to calcium deposits has been linked to increased cardiovascular deaths in dialysis patients, national guidelines recommend lowering the amount of calcium that patients receive from dialysis fluids. (Dialysis solution contains levels of minerals like potassium and calcium similar to their natural concentration in healthy blood.) more

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News from the American Society of Nephrology's Renal Week 2010