ISLAMABAD  – Researchers found that the risk of kidney failure is greater for people with chronic kidney disease who also have atrial fibrillation, one of the most common forms of irregular heart rhythm in adults, Far news Agency reported.

According to research report many people who suffer from chronic kidney disease progressively lose their kidney function over time and eventually develop a condition called end-stage renal disease the complete failure of the kidneys placing them in need of lifelong dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Now researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research have found that the risk of kidney failure is greater for people with chronic kidney disease who also have atrial fibrillation, one of the most common forms of irregular heart rhythm in adults.

The finding opens the way for further studies into the relationship between the two factors, which could lead to new treatment approaches that would improve outcomes for people with chronic kidney disease.

Doctors have known that patients with chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease commonly have atrial fibrillation and as a result are more likely to have a stroke or to die. However, the long-term impact of atrial fibrillation on kidney function among patients with known chronic kidney disease has been unknown.

Over the course of about five years, approximately 16,400 patients developed atrial fibrillation, and those who did were 67 percent more likely to progress to end-stage renal disease compared with patients who had chronic kidney disease but did not develop atrial fibrillation.

“These novel findings expand on previous knowledge by highlighting that atrial fibrillation is linked to a worse kidney prognosis in patients with underlying kidney dysfunction,” said kidney specialist Nisha Bansal, MD, an assistant professor in the Division of Nephrology at UCSF.

People who have chronic kidney disease fall into a spectrum in terms of how severe their disease is. At one end are those who have very minor loss of kidney function. They may not have any symptoms at all, and only by applying a simple blood test can doctors properly diagnose their disease.

At the other end of the spectrum are the people who have progressed to end- stage renal disease, which is basically complete kidney failure. They require lifelong dialysis or a kidney transplant. Some people progress rapidly to end- stage renaldisease while others may live for decades without ever progressing.

Doctors are interested in understanding the factors that place patients at greater risk for end-stage renal disease, Bansal said, because it may be possible to address those factors through medications or lifestyle changes like diet or exercise.

Bansal added, however, that while the two conditions are intertwined, scientists do not know exactly which specific genes, pathways and biological mechanisms connect irregular heartbeat to declines in kidney function. Neither do they yet know the extent to which treating atrial fibrillation will improve outcomes for people with chronic kidney disease.

Fast food increases asthma risk in children

Researchers have warned that eating fast food several times a week can significantly extend the risk of severe asthma, eczema and watery eyes in children. Fast food which often contains high levels of saturated and trans-fatty acids affects immune system of the body, suggested by the researchers who have observed global disease and dietary patterns, Press Tv Reported.

They studied over 500,000 children in more than 50 countries who had poor diet mainly due to eating fast food such as take-away burgers several times a week.  The study indicated that children in their early teens who ate three or more weekly servings of fast food had a 39% increased risk of severe asthma while those kids at the age of six and seven had a 27% increased risk, according to Thorax journal.

Researchers also stressed that consuming plenty of fruit, as it is rich in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, can be protective against the disease.

Eating three or more portions of fruit a week has been proven to reduce the risk of asthma, eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis by between 11% and 14 per cent, researchers suggest.

While in some cases, certain foods such as cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, yeast products, nuts develop asthma symptoms, people with asthma are not recommended to follow a special diet, the experts say.

“Evidence suggests that the vitamins and antioxidants found in fresh fruit and vegetables have a beneficial effect on asthma,” said the study researcher.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet including five portions of fruit or vegetables every day, fish more than twice a week, and food pulses such as beans, peas, and lentils more than once a week can be useful for the people who are suffering from asthma, Rahman noted.

Behavioural therapy ‘can reduce depression’

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can reduce symptoms of depression in people who fail to respond to drug treatment, says a study.

CBT, a type of psychotherapy, was found to benefit nearly half of the 234 patients who received it combined with normal care from their GP (General Practitionar) because up to two-thirds of people with depression do not respond to anti-depressants, BBC health reported.

CBT is a form of talking psychotherapy to help people with depression change the way they think to improve how they feel and alter their behaviour.

The study followed 469 patients with treatment-resistant depression picked from GP practices over 12 months.

One group of patients continued with their usual care from their GP, which could include anti-depressant medication, while the second group was also treated with CBT.

After six months, researchers found 46 per cent of those who had received CBT reported at least a 50 per cent reduction in their symptoms.

The research confirms how these approaches - the psychological and physical - can complement each other.

This compared with 22 per cent experiencing the same reduction in the other group.

The study concluded CBT was effective in reducing symptoms and improving patients’ quality of life. The improvements had been maintained for a period of 12 months, it added.