Mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease remains high, with cardiovascular disease accounting for half of these deaths. Novel risk factors such as inflammation, oxidative stress, hyperhomocysteinemia, and high troponin levels are associated with cardiovascular risk in the general population. While there are substantial epidemiologic data confirming that these novel risk factors are associated with cardiovascular risk in end-stage renal disease patients, a causal relationship has not been established. Inflammation is readily identified by the presence of high levels of C-reactive protein, while studies of oxidative stress are hampered by the lack of a standardized test. The cause of both is unknown. Hyperhomocysteinemia results from decreased remethylation to methionine, although vitamin supplementation only partially corrects the defect, suggesting that uremic inhibition of the enzymatic process may be important. The most promising strategies for correcting oxidative stress and hyperhomocysteinemia are vitamin E and folinic acid therapy, respectively. Troponin I appears to be a more specific marker of myocardial injury than Troponin T, but troponin T retains its ability to predict cardiovascular mortality as well as all-cause mortality. Sorting out the role of each of these risk factors may be difficult since the factors may influence each other, may increase oxidative stress, and may mediate atherosclerosis through oxidative modification of lipids. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine