The risk of atherosclerosis in patients with chronic kidney disease

Int Urol Nephrol. 2013 Dec;45(6):1605-12. doi: 10.1007/s11255-013-0407-1. Epub 2013 Mar 13.


Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is becoming a serious health problem; the number of people with impaired renal function is rapidly rising, especially in industrialized countries. A major complication of CKD is cardiovascular disease. Accelerated atherosclerosis has been observed in early stages of renal dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the degree of renal insufficiency and both the prevalence and intensity of coronary artery disease (assessed on the basis of number of vessels with stenosis).

Methods: 446 individuals with both serum creatinine >120 μmol/l (men) or >96 μmol/l (women) and acute coronary syndrome were included in the study. All patients included in this analysis underwent urgent coronarography. Data concerning glomerular filtration rate (GFR), number of vessels with stenosis, hypertension, lipid disorders, creatinine concentration, C-reactive protein, glucose and lipid profile were analyzed.

Results: This study confirmed that moderate to severe renal impairment is associated with accelerated atherosclerosis. Moreover, patients with GFR values below 60 ml/min/1.73 m(2) are predisposed to accelerated, multivessel cardiovascular disease.

Conclusions: GFR seems to be an independent risk factor for multivessel cardiovascular disease. Due to the fact that patients with renal dysfunction are at high risk of cardiovascular events, they should obtain optimal treatment resulting not only in kidney protection but also in the elimination of cardiovascular risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Aged
  • Atherosclerosis / blood
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Coronary Vessels / diagnostic imaging
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • ROC Curve
  • Radiography
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Creatinine