Background: Coronary heart disease (CHD) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Prevention of CHD in ESRD requires identification and treatment of coronary risk factors in chronic renal insufficiency (CRI).
Methods: We evaluated the prevalence of "traditional coronary risk factors" in CRI in 1,795 patients enrolled in the baseline period of Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study. Using a cross-sectional design, we determined the relationship of these risk factors to the level of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and proteinuria. We also predicted the CHD risk in the MDRD Study baseline cohort using the coronary point score.
Results: 64.0% had blood pressure > or = 130/85 mmHg despite antihypertensive therapy. 64.2% had LDL cholesterol > or = 130 mg/dl, while 38.3% had HDL cholesterol < 35 mg/dl. After adjustment for age, gender and the presence of diabetes, GFR was inversely associated with systolic blood pressure and positively associated with HDL cholesterol, but not associated with total or LDL cholesterol. After adjustment for age. gender and the presence of diabetes, proteinuria was positively associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and inversely associated with HDL cholesterol. Nonetheless, the predicted CHD risk, even at a very low GFR, was similar to the risk in the general population and lower than the observed rate of de novo CHD in incident dialysis patients.
Conclusions: "Traditional coronary risk factors" are highly prevalent in CRI and vary with the level of renal function. However, the coronary point score does not appear to explain the extent of increased CHD risk in ESRD. Non-traditional risk factors may also contribute to CHD in ESRD.