Study: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Lacking in Kidney Transplant Patients

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This article is part of our ongoing coverage of Renal Week 2009. Click here for a complete list of our Renal Week Live articles.


Key Points

  • Overall utilization of cardioprotective drugs—such as antihypertensive agents and statins—is low in kidney transplant patients.
  • Only one-third of patients in this study had their blood pressure under control.
  • Clear and definitive guidelines are not always available for all components of CV risk reduction intervention.

Despite the fact that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death in kidney transplant patients, overall utilization of cardioprotective drugs—such as antihypertensive agents and statins—is low in this high-risk population, Hungarian researchers reported.

A team at the University of Budapest analyzed data from 993 kidney transplant patients followed at a single outpatient transplant center. Only one-third of them had their blood pressure under control. Only 28% had a systolic pressure under 130 mm Hg, and 55% had a systolic pressure between 130-160 mm Hg. Moreover, 17% had a systolic pressure greater than 160 mm Hg.

The proportion of patients on ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, thrombocyte aggregation inhibitors, and statins was 32%, 30%, and 34%, respectively. In addition, nearly half of the transplant patients with high CV risk did not receive multiple CV risk reduction therapies.

“Overall management of renal transplant recipients mainly consists of management of immunosuppressive drugs and immunosuppressive drug levels,” said lead investigator Istvan Mucsi, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Budapest. “The CV risk management is not really standardized, and it is not really done well in these patients.”

He said clear and definitive guidelines are not always available for all components of CV risk reduction intervention. This is a widespread problem when it comes to kidney transplant patients. “I do think it is a problem all over the world,” Dr. Mucsi told Renal & Urology News while discussing the study at the American Society of Nephrology's Renal Week 2009 in San Diego.

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