AHA Identifies New Heart Condition

Posted Oct 24, 2023 under:

Heart Health Connections

The American Heart Association has released a new syndrome showing a connection between certain risk factors.

A Deeper Understanding

A new designation put forth by the American Heart Association shows a correlation between heart disease, obesity, kidney disease and more.

An October 9 article in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) publication Circulation discusses a newfound connection between cardiovascular disease (CVD), kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

The presidential advisory details that the overlap in CVD with kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity led to the new designation of cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome (CKM). The release states that those who have or are at risk for cardiovascular disease may have CKM syndrome.

What is CKM Syndrome?

 The AHA details the new syndrome below:

  • “CKM Syndrome stages range from 0, or no risk factors and an entirely preventative focus, to stage 4, the highest risk stage with established cardiovascular disease. Stage 4 may also include kidney failure. Each stage correlates to specific screenings and therapies.”
  • “Screening for and addressing social factors that impact health.”
  • “Collaborative care approaches among multiple specialties to treat the whole patient.”
  • “Suggested updates to the algorithm, or risk calculator, that help health care professionals predict a person’s likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke. The update adds a risk prediction for heart failure, which estimates the risk for ‘total cardiovascular disease’ – heart attack, stroke, and/or heart failure.”
  • “The writing group suggests the updated algorithm provides both 10- and 30-year cardiovascular disease risk estimates.”

The American Heart Association’s 2023 Statistical Update details that 1 in 3 American adults suffer from three or more risk factors that can contribute to cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and/or kidney disease.

 “The advisory addresses the connections among these conditions with a particular focus on identifying people at early stages of CKM syndrome,” said Chiadi E. Ndumele, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.S., FAHA, writing committee chair and an associate professor of medicine and Director of Obesity and Cardiometabolic Research in the division of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University. “Screening for kidney and metabolic disease will help us start protective therapies earlier to most effectively prevent heart disease and best manage existing heart disease.”

What’s Next?

With these newly discovered connections, Ndumele advises a redesigned patient and physician education approach.

“There is a need for fundamental changes in how we educate health care professionals and the public, how we organize care, and how we reimburse care related to CKM syndrome,” Ndumele said. “Key partnerships among stakeholders are needed to improve access to therapies, to support new care models, and to make it easier for people from diverse communities and circumstances to live healthier lifestyles and to achieve ideal cardiovascular health.”

To read the release in full, click here.


AHA Heart and Stroke Statistics 2023: https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/heart-and-stroke-association-statistics?uid=1740

Heart Disease Risk, Prevention, and Management Redefined: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/heart-disease-risk-prevention-and-management-redefined

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