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Blood Purif. 2002;20(1):6-10.

Epidemiology of vascular disease in renal failure.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232-2372, USA.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the general population and a major cause of morbidity and mortality chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. The high prevalence of CVD in incident dialysis populations suggests that CVD begins during or before the stage of chronic renal insufficiency. While traditional risk factors observed in the general population may play a role in the progression of CVD in CKD and ESRD patients, the presence of several nontraditional factors related to the extent of uremia seems to be the more significant feature of CVD in this patient population. Recently, there have been significant advances in our understanding of how inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction. The fact that chronic inflammation and CVD are highly prevalent in ESRD patients, it is probable that chronic inflammation may be a causative factor for accelerated atherosclerosis observed in CKD and ESRD patients. Given the extent of the problem, efforts to lower the mortality rate among ESRD patients will require new approaches to reduce and/or prevent cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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