Unveiling CKM Syndrome: A Paradigm Shift in Heart, Kidney, and Metabolic Health

10.10.2023 posted by Admin

Unveiling CKM Syndrome: A Paradigm Shift in Cardiovascular Health

Heart disease has long been associated with other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease. In the United States, it stands as the leading cause of death for both men and women. Shockingly, one in three adults possesses three or more risk factors contributing to heart disease, metabolic disorders, and kidney disease, as reported by the American Heart Association.

Now, the American Heart Association (AHA) officials are introducing a concept that might redefine these interlinked conditions as a novel syndrome known as cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome or CKM.

Medical professionals have observed significant connections between cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and chronic kidney disease for quite some time.

To disseminate this groundbreaking concept and reshape our understanding of cardiovascular disease risk, prevention, and management, the AHA officials have published their advisory in the Circulation journal.

Dr. Chiadi E. Ndumele, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.S., FAHA, an associate professor of medicine and director of obesity and cardiometabolic research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, emphasizes the importance of identifying individuals in the early stages of CKM syndrome. By screening for kidney and metabolic disease, healthcare providers can initiate protective therapies sooner, effectively preventing heart disease and managing existing heart conditions.

The AHA's presidential advisory is aimed at enabling healthcare providers to enhance CKM treatment. This advisory outlines the stages of the disease and its potential causes, including:

The four stages of CKM syndrome, ranging from Stage 0 (no risk factors) to Stage 4 (multiple risk factors).

Identifying and addressing societal factors that may increase an individual's risk.

Encouraging collaboration among physicians from various specialties to support CKM patients.

Moreover, the AHA recommends that physicians utilize a risk calculator for heart attacks and strokes to predict who is at the highest risk for these cardiac events. This revised algorithm provides estimates for heart attack and stroke risks at both the 10-year and 30-year marks.

One of the primary reasons behind this advisory's release is the hope of improving access to superior treatment for a broader population.

Dr. Dennis Bruemmer, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, believes this advisory's timing is ideal. It underscores significant changes, emphasizing a more preventative care approach over a reactive model. This shift aims to address individual risk factors and initiate early treatment, ultimately preventing complex diseases.

The role of social factors in health should not be underestimated. When screening and addressing these factors, physicians consider aspects such as economic stability, access to healthcare, and education level. These social determinants significantly influence patient care.

Dr. Rohan Khera, Director of the Cardiovascular Data Science (CarDS) Lab at Yale School of Medicine, emphasizes that this advisory reflects the reality of clinical practice. Patients with cardiovascular disease often face metabolic and kidney challenges concurrently, necessitating a holistic approach to their care.

Furthermore, social factors play a substantial role, particularly for underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, exacerbating heart- and kidney-related issues.

Collaborative care is another focal point of the advisory. It stresses the importance of communication between physicians specializing in different areas. To effectively manage CKM, multiple specialists, including primary care physicians, cardiologists, and endocrinologists, should pool their expertise.

Considering these diseases holistically is essential. Redefining disease management by integrating social factors into the equation is crucial for improving patient outcomes.

Understanding risk is vital for devising effective treatment plans for individuals with these conditions. Assessing risk factors, rather than relying on intuition, helps patients make informed decisions about their health. This approach includes combining risk factors to compute an individual's actual risk of developing a disease over a specified timeframe, guiding personalized lifestyle and treatment plans.

If you suspect you may be at risk of heart, kidney, or metabolic disease, discuss risk factors with your physician. Key indicators to consider include weight and BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and hemoglobin A1C for blood sugar levels.

In summary, the American Heart Association introduces the concept of cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome (CKM), emphasizing the intricate connections between cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. The advisory provides revised recommendations for screening, stages of the syndrome, and treatment. Collaboration among healthcare professionals across various specialties is crucial for optimal patient care. Social factors are integral to assessing and addressing CKM risk, especially for disadvantaged groups. Finally, understanding risk through quantitative assessment aids in the development of personalized treatment plans.
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