Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at a sharply heightened risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a team of researchers from NIH and several Boston-area institutions.

The team examined 3,258 grown children and spouses of children of the original participants in the famous Framingham Heart Study, which started in 1948. CKD was defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) <59 mL/min/1.73 m2 in women and <64 mL/min/1.73 m2 in men.

Of the subjects, 281 (8.6%) had CKD. Hypertension and diabetes were present in 71.2% and 23.5% of those with CKD, respectively, compared with 42.7% and 11.9% of those without CKD. Additionally, low levels of HDL and high triglyceride levels were found in 45.2% and 39.9% of those with CKD, respectively, compared with 29.4% and 29.8% in subjects without CKD.

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Writing in Archives of Internal Medicine (2006;166:1884-1891), the authors conclude that CKD “with its high burden of vascular disease risk factors and associated risk of adverse CVD outcomes represents a public health concern.

Identifying CKD should alert the practitioner to a large underlying burden of potentially modifiable CVD risk factors.”