- Cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome (CKM) is a newly defined condition
- It represents the overlap between kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity
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Researchers have described a new type of heart disease that one in three adults is at risk of developing.
Cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome, or CKM, represents the overlap between kidney disease, metabolic disorders like Type 2 diabetes and obesity, and heart disease.
Technically CKM is not a new disease, but a new way to think about how existing conditions affect one another.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), one in three US adults has three or more risk factors that put them at an elevated risk of developing the condition.
The aim of defining CKM is to get earlier diagnosis and treatment for people who are at high risk of dying from heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), one in three US adults has three or more risk factors contributing to CKM (stock pic)
Lead author of the advisory and an accompanying statement, Dr Chiadi Ndumele, the director of obesity and cardiometabolic research in the division of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University, estimated more than 90 percent of adults fall on the CKM spectrum.
This is primarily driven by sky-high levels of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in adults and children across the US, he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 42 percent of adults and 20 percent of children are obese, while more than 37 million adults have diabetes.
To categorize people’s risk of CKM, the AHA has come up with four stages.
Stage zero is the optimum place to be.
It represents people with no risk factors, who likely eat a balanced diet, are a healthy weight, and do not smoke.
Stage one is people who might be overweight, especially with excess belly fat. Or, they may have pre-diabetes.
It is advised that these people should try and lose five percent of their weight to protect themselves from progressing into a further CKM stage.
People in stage two will be starting to experience things like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. They may also have kidney disease.
Doctors may prescribe this cohort medication to control their blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.
They may also offer patients Ozempic or Wegovy, to help them lose weight and control blood sugar levels.
Stage three is when people have asymptomatic heart disease.
They may have high blood pressure or early heart or kidney disease and may be on medication such as a statin.
Treatments for this category include heart and diabetes drugs, plus testing for narrowed arteries.
Stage four is symptomatic heart disease. This would be someone with diagnosed heart disease, excess fat, Type 2 diabetes or kidney disease.
They may have already suffered heart attacks or strokes and developed heart failure.
People in stage four can be further divided into those with kidney failure and those without it.
The AHA’s overhaul of looking at heart disease also includes an extended risk calculator for healthcare professionals to use.
The old risk calculator predicted a 10-year probability of a heart attack or stroke in people aged 40-75.
The updated risk calculator will include people aged 30 and above, and will predict a ten-year and a 30-year probability of having a heart attack, stroke or heart failure.