Chronic kidney disease as a coronary artery disease risk equivalent

Curr Cardiol Rep. 2013 Mar;15(3):340. doi: 10.1007/s11886-012-0340-4.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with accelerated cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and a higher CVD event rate. Substantial data from prospective cohort studies support the concept that dialysis patients as well as those with advanced stage (stages 3-5) CKD are associated with an increased risk for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. The risk for coronary artery disease (CAD) increases exponentially with declining kidney function, i.e., stage 3 or higher CKD. Indeed, CVD accounts for more than 50 % of deaths in patients with CKD. CKD patients are more likely to die of CVD than to progress to end stage kidney disease. This increase in CV risk is commonly attributed to co-existence of numerous traditional and nontraditional risk factors for the development of CVD that frequently accompany reduced kidney function. Therefore, CKD itself is now considered an independent CVD risk factor and a coronary artery disease (CAD) equivalent for all-cause mortality. All patients at risk for CAD should be evaluated for kidney disease. Treatments used for management of established CAD might have similar benefits for patients with concomitant CKD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*
  • Risk Factors