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Am J Transplant. 2003 Nov;3(11):1393-9.

Cardiovascular disease reduction in the outpatient kidney transplant clinic.

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Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an important cause of death in kidney transplant recipients. Future CVD mortality was estimated by a risk calculator in all patients (n = 439) with a functioning transplant (>6 months), followed at our center. In addition to CURRENT mortality rates, an OPTIMAL rate (adding anti-hypertensive and lipid-lowering therapy in uncontrolled patients) and an HISTORIC rate (higher systolic blood pressures and the absence of statin use in our population 5 years ago) were also calculated. Overall, the predicted CURRENT CVD mortality rates are 0.82 (95% CI 0.81-0.83) of HISTORIC rates. Predicted OPTIMAL CVD mortality rates are 0.90 (95% CI 0.87-0.92) of CURRENT rates. To achieve OPTIMAL rates, a 27% increase in blood pressure and lipid-lowering drug use is required. There were few contraindications to these medications, implying that physician prescribing was the major barrier to minimizing risk. Despite OPTIMAL rates, the transplant population's relative risk is 2.3 (median, 95% CI 2.1-2.5) times higher than that in the general population. Therefore, targeted therapy to reduce CVD risk can have substantial benefit, but CVD mortality may continue to exceed that in the general population.

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