Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) exhibit a massively increased risk for cardiovascular events: 50% of patients with CKD stage 4-5 suffer from cardiovascular disease , and cardiovascular mortality accounts for ~40-50% of all deaths in patients with CKD stage 4 as well as patients with end-stage renal disease, compared with 26% in controls with normal kidney function . With 10-13% of people presenting CKD and cardiovascular disease accounting for ~9% of total health care costs, the socio-economic burden of this cardiovascular-renal pathology, referred to as the cardiorenal syndrome, is extremely high.
Traditional strategies to improve cardiovascular outcome have largely failed in the context of CKD . This emphasizes the need to identify CKD-specific pathology, biomarkers and targets for cardiovascular disease, in order to reduce the increased cardiovascular mortality in CKD patients through novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
To achieve this, there is an urgent need for well-trained basic and translational researchers in the field of the cardiorenal syndrome. Recent scientific developments, including advances in proteomics/peptidomics, bioinformatics and novel technologies for functional analyses have revolutionized the possibilities for clinically relevant translational research. Further, given the complexity of diseases in general, the intensification and structured organization of international research collaborations and doctoral training is crucial to reach knowledge progress and innovation in the diagnosis and therapy of complex diseases as the cardiorenal syndrome. Thus, CaReSyAn will provide a structured doctoral training programme that generates a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers in the field of the cardiorenal syndrome within an existing network of excellent research groups across Europe, as highly needed by public as well as private employers.
Of note, some of the CKD-associated risk factors also seem to mediate cardiovascular mortality in aging persons with normal renal function, confirming the long-standing clinical observation that CKD is a state of accelerated (vascular) aging . Thus, findings related to increased cardiovascular risk in CKD may be extrapolated to the aging population without CKD, which markedly strengthens the potential implications of our consortium.
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