The link between chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease

J Nephropathol. 2014 Jul;3(3):99-104. doi: 10.12860/jnp.2014.19. Epub 2014 Jul 1.


Context: It is well known that patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a strong risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the excess risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with CKD is only partially explained by the presence of traditional risk factors, such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus.

Evidence acquisitions: Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Google Scholar, PubMed, EBSCO and Web of Science has been searched.

Results: Chronic kidney disease even in its early stages can cause hypertension and potentiate the risk for cardiovascular disease. However, the practice of intensive blood pressure lowering was criticized in recent systematic reviews. Available evidence is inconclusive but does not prove that a blood pressure target of less than 130/80 mmHg as recommended in the guidelines improves clinical outcomes more than a target of less than 140/90 mmHg in adults with CKD.

Conclusions: The association between CKD and CVD has been extensively documented in the literature. Both CKD and CVD share common traditional risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia. However, cardiovascular disease remains often underdiagnosed und undertreated in patients with CKD. It is imperative that as clinicians, we recognize that patients with CKD are a group at high risk for developing CVD and cardiovascular events. Additional studies devoted to further understand the risk factors for CVD in patients with CKD are necessary to develop and institute preventative and treatment strategies to reduce the high morbidity and mortality in patients with CKD.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Chronic kidney disease; Diabetes mellitus; Hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review