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J Nephrol. 2005 Sep-Oct;18(5):592-8.

Risk factors and underlying cardiovascular diseases in incident ESRD patients.

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NephroCare Medical Direction, Fresenius Medical Care Italy, Naples--Italy.



Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in dialysis patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and of CVD on admission to hemodialysis.


Data were collected in 31 Italian clinics belonging to a clinic network using a prospective database (EuCliD), the main purpose of which is the support of quality assurance. Six hundred and thirty-six patients, mean age 63.9+/-15.4 years, admitted between January 1, 2000 and September 30, 2003, were separated into two groups on the basis of presence of CVD and observed for a median follow-up period of 16 months.


In the CVD group, patients were significantly older and the percentage of diabetics and smokers was significantly greater than in the CVD-free group. There were no significant differences between the groups in term of uremia-related risk factors. According to logistic regression analysis evaluating the impact of traditional and nontraditional cardiovascular risk factors, only smoking habit (OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.25-2.79) and diabetes (OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.19-2.95) were associated with a higher relative risk for the presence of CVD at baseline. At the time of admission, CVD was present in 27% of patients. The following de novo development of CVD was observed: hypertensive disease (0.28 new cases/100 pt-years), ischemic heart disease (0.71 new cases/100 pt-years), other forms of heart disease (1.57 new cases/100 pt-years), disease of arteries, arterioles, etc. (1.85 new cases/100 pt-years) and cerebrovascular disease (0.71 new cases/100 pt-years). The rate of developing de novo CVD events was 3.70 per 100 patient-years.


The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors is already high at admission to dialysis. Despite the care provided to dialysis patients, a significant proportion of patients develop de novo CVD.

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