Since the first description of the association between chronic kidney disease and heart disease, many epidemiological studies have confirmed and extended this finding. As chronic kidney disease progresses, kidney-specific risk factors for cardiovascular events and disease come into play. As a result, the risk for cardiovascular disease is notably increased in individuals with chronic kidney disease. When adjusted for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, impaired kidney function and raised concentrations of albumin in urine increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by two to four times. Yet, cardiovascular disease is frequently underdiagnosed and undertreated in patients with chronic kidney disease. This group of patients should, therefore, be acknowledged as having high cardiovascular risk that needs particular medical attention at an individual level. This view should be incorporated in the development of guidelines and when defining research priorities. Here, we discuss the epidemiology and pathophysiological mechanisms of cardiovascular risk in patients with chronic kidney disease, and discuss methods of prevention.
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