Epidemiology and Mechanisms of Uremia-Related Cardiovascular Disease

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Abstract

Patients with chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease are at 5- to 10-fold higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) than age-matched controls. Clinically, CVD in this population manifests as coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, stroke, or congestive heart failure. Beyond the traditional risk factors (eg, diabetes mellitus and hypertension), uremia-specific factors that arise from accumulating toxins also contribute to the pathogenesis of CVD. In this review, we summarize the literature on the epidemiology of both traditional and uremia-related CVD and focus on postulated mechanisms of the latter. In the context of current and emerging diagnostics and therapies for CVD, we highlight what we interpret as major gaps in the medical management of this growing population that need to be addressed with targeted epidemiological and translational research. Finally, we describe the global challenges associated with the recognition and management of uremia-related CVD in developed and developing nations.

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