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Ovary removals linked to increased risk of kidney failure

Raghu Kshitiz

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Women who have their ovaries removed before menopause may find themselves at higher risk for chronic kidney disease, a new study by the Mayo Clinic has suggested.

Risk can go up more than 7 percent for some women, according to the study that looked specifically at more than 1,600 premenopausal women living in and around Rochester over the span of 14 years.

Researchers believe the reason behind it is the drop in estrogen levels that follows the procedure.

“This is the first study that has shown an important link between estrogen deprivation in younger women and kidney damage,” said study senior author Dr. Walter Rocca, a neurologist and epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Though the study did not prove cause and effect, women considering having their ovaries removed should be aware of this potentially serious risk, particularly if they aren’t at high risk for ovarian and breast cancer, the researchers added.

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While other studies have already shown removing ovaries at too young of an age can increase a wide variety of chronic diseases and mortality, this study adds chronic kidney failure to that list.

Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are damaged and can’t filter the blood as well as they should. If the kidneys fail, patients must undergo dialysis and a kidney transplant.

Finding the overall kidney failure risk in women under 50 who had not had their ovaries taken out is 13 percent. That number jumps to 20 percent for those with them removed.

Still, the exact correlation between ovaries producing estrogen and kidney strength remains unknown.

Previous studies have shown that the female hormone estrogen has a protective effect on the kidneys. In this latest study, researchers investigated how the removal of both ovaries affected the kidney function of women who had not yet experienced menopause.

The findings were published Sept 19 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time : Study

Raghu Kshitiz

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A new study has showed that sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time, challenging previous claims that weekday mornings — especially Mondays — were the danger zones.

Previously heart experts have long believed that weekday mornings were the danger zones for unexpected deaths from sudden cardiac arrests.

“While there are likely several reasons to explain why more cardiac arrests happen outside of previously identified peak times, stress is likely a major factor,” said Sumeet Chugh, a Professor of medicine from the Smidt Heart Institute in the US.

“We now live in a fast-paced, ‘always on’ era that causes increased psycho-social stress and possibly an increase in the likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest,” Chugh added.

Almost 17 million cardiac deaths occur annually worldwide while the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is less than one per cent.

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For the study, published in the journal Heart Rhythm, Chugh’s team analysed data on 1,535 from the community-based Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study between 2004 to 2014, among which only 13.9 per cent died in the early morning hours, the findings revealed.

All reported cases were based on emergency medical service reports containing detailed information regarding the cause of the cardiac arrest.

“Because sudden cardiac arrest is usually fatal, we have to prevent it before it strikes,” Chugh said. “Our next steps are to conclusively determine the underlying reasons behind this shift, then identify public health implications as a result,” he added.

Apart from stress, other contributing factors may be a shift in how high-risk patients are being treated, as well as inadequacies in how past studies have measured time of death caused by sudden cardiac arrest.

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