Background: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) was recently recognized as a common complication of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) that causes an increased risk of mortality. Epidemiological data for this disorder in earlier stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its association with cardiovascular (CV) morbidity are scarce.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 2,351 Chinese CKD patients with complete clinical records and echocardiography data between Jan 2008 and May 2012. The patients were divided into the following 6 groups: CKD Stages 1-4; Stage 5 for those not on or initiated on hemodialysis for <3 months; and Stage 5D for the patients undergoing hemodialysis for ≥3 months. The prevalence of PH and CV morbidity was investigated, and their association was evaluated with a logistic regression model.
Results: PH was detected in 426 patients (18.1%). Mild, moderate and severe PH was diagnosed in 12.1%, 4.9% and 1.1% of the patients, respectively. Severe PH was detected in CKD Stages 5 and 5D. CV morbidity was found in 645 patients (27.4%). Compared with the non-PH group, the PH group had a higher risk for cardiac disease but not for cerebrovascular disease risk. PH severity was associated with cardiac morbidity risk [odds ratio (95% CI) for mild PH: 1.79 (1.30-2.47); moderate PH: 2.75 (1.73-4.37); severe PH: 3.90 (1.46-10.42)].
Conclusions: Our study showed for the first time the epidemiology profile of PH across the spectrum of CKD. Mild-to-moderate PH occurs with more frequency in advanced CKD, and severe PH is scarce in non-ESRD CKD. PH in CKD is associated with cardiac but not cerebrovascular disease, with increasing cardiac morbidity seen with increasing PH severity. Evidence from prospective studies addressing PH in this population is needed to predict cardiac events.