National Kidney Foundation guidelines define chronic kidney disease (CKD) as persistent kidney damage (confirmed by renal biopsy or markers of kidney damage) and/or glomerular filtration rate (GFR) <60 mL/min/1.73m2 for greater than three months. Patients with CKD experience higher mortality and adverse cardiovascular (CV) event rates, which remains significant after adjustment for conventional coronary risk factors. This progressive CV risk associated with worsening renal function may be explained by other factors that become increasingly important with renal decline. In this regard, more investigation of nonconventional factors that have received a lot of attention includes associations with inflammation, albuminuria, reduced vascular compliance, and homocysteine. In addition, individuals with CKD encounter the problem of "therapeutic nihilism," in which there is a lack of appropriate risk factor modification and intervention, despite established awareness of their high cardiovascular risk. Several studies suggest that these individuals derive as much, if not more, benefit from evidence-based cardiovascular therapies and strategies. Greater educational efforts are needed to reduce this therapeutic gap.