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Pediatr Nephrol. 2004 Jul;19(7):744-8. Epub 2004 Apr 15.

The risk of cardiovascular disease in adults who have had childhood nephrotic syndrome.

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Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


While increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with hyperlipidemia, chronic kidney disease (CKD), or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is well documented, transient hyperlipidemia or intermittent renal disease as a consequence of relapsing nephrotic syndrome (NS) has not been studied. To investigate this enigma, 62 patients, between 25 and 53 years of age, who had steroid-responsive/dependent NS during childhood, were identified from the records of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at Yale School of Medicine. Forty patients were located and contacted to ascertain symptoms or occurrences of CVD via a telephone interview. At the time of follow-up, 23-46 years after cessation of NS, none of these patients had ESRD or CKD. Three patients had experienced a myocardial infarction (MI): a 32-year-old male with a family history of CVD; a 41-year-old male with a history of heavy smoking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and elevated cholesterol; a 31-year-old male after a cocaine overdose. The occurrence of events (8%) and mortality from CVD (none) in this cohort of patients is comparable to patients of a similar age in the general population and is lower than that of patients of the same age who are on dialysis. The data suggest that relapsing NS during childhood does not place patients at increased risk for CVD mortality or morbidity compared with the general population. Consequently, it would appear that factors related to persistent proteinuria or renal insufficiency, rather than transient proteinuria and renal disease, contribute to the CVD documented in patients with CKD or ESRD.

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