Mechanism by which chronic kidney disease causes cardiovascular disease and the measures to manage this phenomenon

Clin Exp Nephrol. 2011 Oct;15(5):627-633. doi: 10.1007/s10157-011-0461-x. Epub 2011 Jun 1.


In Japan, the number of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients is thought to be 13,300,000, next in size after those with hypertension and diabetes. Although the number of patients with CKD seems large, it does not mean that all these patients require special treatment. Among them, nephrologists should pay special attention to patients with glomerular filtration rate below 50 mL/min/1.73 m(2) and progressive deterioration of renal function. Treatment of these CKD patients by a limited number of specialists is simply impossible; hence, it is essential to request treatment from physicians who are involved in general internal medicine and primary care. It is well known that not only does CKD cause end-stage renal failure, it also causes the onset of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as cardiac infarction and cerebral stroke; however, the question is how much significance does CKD have as a risk factor for CVD. It is understandable that hypertension and CVD are often complications of CKD; however, in addition to what is conventionally mentioned, there are three or four mechanisms that we would like to emphasize, and discuss herein. Among them, we would like to stress the role of klotho genes with special reference to the generation of CVD in CKD patients. When patients develop CKD, it is therefore necessary to remove as far as possible any factors that could represent a risk for CVD. Moreover, by taking appropriate measures against clinical conditions that often complicate CKD, such as hypertension, renal anemia, hyperuricemia, and hyperlipidaemia, the development of CVD can be prevented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Glucuronidase / genetics
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Klotho Proteins
  • Physicians, Primary Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / genetics
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors


  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Glucuronidase
  • Klotho Proteins