The study, published in the journal Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, was conducted by scientists from Canada, Venezuela, Italy and the US, a news agency reported.

"We wanted to know if this type of heart fat is related to poor outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease, and it was a very clear marker of risk," said Paolo Raggi, a researcher from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

"The greater the amount of fat around the heart, the greater the mortality rates were in patients."

After examining CT scans of 109 American patients with chronic kidney disease from a randomized, clinical trial, the researchers found that for every 10 cubic cm increase in heart fat, the risk of death rose six percent.

The findings also showed that high levels of calcium or plaque in the arteries and high cholesterol levels were strong predictors of large volumes of heart fat.

Previous research showed a link between this heart fat and plaque buildup in the heart arteries, according to the researchers.


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