NBC NEWS – As more Americans are being diagnosed with multiple chronic health problems at younger ages, for the first time, the American Heart Association is identifying a new medical condition that reflects the strong links among obesity, diabetes and heart and kidney disease.
According to an advisory released Monday, the goal in recognizing the condition — cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome, or CKM — is to get earlier diagnosis and treatment for people at high risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
“Reducing the pipeline of individuals progressing to heart disease is our primary goal,” said the lead author of the advisory and an accompanying statement, Dr. Chiadi E. Ndumele, the director of obesity and cardiometabolic research in the division of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University.
Right now, “we’re seeing the health consequences of all these conditions interacting and leading to earlier presentations with heart disease,” Ndumele said. Naming and describing CKM are “really a paradigm change.”
Increasing evidence shows how metabolic risk factors such as abdominal fat, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar can negatively affect other organs in the body.
Dr. Pam R. Taub, a cardiologist, agreed that the new approach may be a “game changer” in how doctors treat patients.
The development of new medications to treat conditions that are part of the syndrome, such as kidney disease, diabetes and obesity, has resulted in decreases in cardiovascular events and given doctors new insights into the relationship among the different organs, said Taub, a professor of medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
“It’s been eye-opening,” Taub said. CKM takes into account “what I call organ cross-talk, in which they are interacting with each other very intricately in the body.”
For example, early kidney disease can be detected in a patient’s urine sample …