Abstract: Chronic kidney disease1 (CKD) is a worldwide public health problem. In the United States, there is a rising incidence and prevalence of kidney failure, with poor outcomes and high cost. The number of individuals with kidney failure treated by dialysis and transplantation exceeded 320 000 in 1998 and is expected to surpass 650 000 by 2010.1,2 There is an even higher prevalence of earlier stages of CKD (Table 1).1,3 Kidney failure requiring treatment with dialysis or transplantation is the most visible outcome of CKD. However, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is also frequently associated with CKD, which is important because individuals with CKD are more likely to die of CVD than to develop kidney failure,4 CVD in CKD is treatable and potentially preventable, and CKD appears to be a risk factor for CVD. In 1998, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Task Force on Cardiovascular Disease in Chronic Renal Disease issued a report emphasizing the high risk of CVD in CKD.5 This report showed that there was a high prevalence of CVD in CKD and that mortality due to CVD was 10 to 30 times higher in dialysis patients than in the general population (Figure 1 and Table 2).6–18 The task force recommended that patients with CKD be considered in the “highest risk group” for subsequent CVD events and that treatment recommendations based on CVD risk stratification should take into account the highest-risk status of patients with CKD.
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TABLE 1. Stages of CKD
Figure 1. Cardiovascular mortality defined by death due to arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, atherosclerotic heart disease, and pulmonary edema in general population (GP; National Center for Health Statistics [NCHS] multiple cause of mortality data files International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision [ICD 9] codes 402, 404, 410 to 414, and …
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