The Heart-Kidney Axis

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. In Europe, CVD accounts for 43% of deaths, which exceeds the global average by 11%. Also, the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Europe exceeds with 18% the global average of 13%. Annually, 1.2M people die from CKD worldwide. However, almost 45% of CKD patients also suffer from CVD, with CVD being the leading cause of death in CKD. Globally, 1.4M annual CVD-related deaths are attributable to impaired kidney function.

Taking the ageing population and changing lifestyle into account, the incidence and impact of cardiorenal diseases are expected to grow. By 2040, CKD deaths are expected to increase in number by 83% in best case and up to 233% in worst case. While the global age-standardised mortality rate decreased by 30.4% for CVD in the last 30 years, for CKD only a 2.8% decline was observed, demonstrating the urgent need for the development of new therapeutics specifically for the cardiorenal patient.