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Kidney Int. 2002 Nov;62(5):1799-805.

Incident acute coronary syndromes in chronic dialysis patients in the United States.

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Nephrology Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.



Patients on dialysis have a disproportionately high rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the incidence and risk factors for incident acute coronary syndromes (ACS) have not been previously assessed in dialysis patients.


We analyzed the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) Dialysis Morbidity and Mortality Study (DMMS) Wave II in a historical cohort study of ACS. Data from 3374 patients who started dialysis in 1996 with valid follow-up times were available for analysis, censored at the time of renal transplantation and followed until March 2000. Cox regression analysis was used to model factors associated with time to first hospitalization for ACS (ICD9 code 410.x or 411.x) adjusted for comorbidities, demographic factors, baseline laboratory values, blood pressures and cholesterol levels, type of vascular access, dialysis adequacy, and cardioprotective medications (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), beta blockers, and aspirin). Follow-up was 2.19 +/- 1.14 years.


The incidence of ACS was 29/1000 person-years. Factors associated with ACS were older age, the extreme high and low ranges of serum cholesterol level, history of coronary heart disease (CHD), male gender, and diabetes. No cardioprotective medications including statins had a significant association with ACS in this study. However, medications known to reduce mortality after ACS were used in less than 50% of patients with known CHD at the start of the study, and statins were used in less than 10% of patients with CHD.


Dialysis patients had similar risk factors for ACS compared to the general population. Cardioprotective medications were not associated with a significant benefit, possibly due to their striking underutilization in this at-risk population.

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