New National Kidney Foundation Guidelines Warn Cardiovascular Disease is the Leading Cause of Death Among Dialysis Patients

New York, NY
April 5, 2005

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among dialysis patients, but the treatment for dialysis patients with CVD is not as effective as it is in the general population, according to new guidelines published by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) in a supplement to the April 2005 issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. The guidelines, Cardiovascular Disease in Dialysis Patients, warn that CVD is also prevalent in the pediatric dialysis population, dialysis patients are more prone to side-effects of treatment and that more research is needed to help better manage CVD in dialysis patients. More than 300,000 Americans receive dialysis to treat kidney failure.

“This guideline highlights those aspects of CVD care that are different in dialysis patients when compared to the general population,” said Alfred K. Cheung, M.D., co-chair of the NKF work group that developed the guideline. “Because of these differences, practitioners cannot solely rely on existing CVD guidelines for the general population to treat CVD in dialysis patients.”

William Henrich, M.D., co-chair of the guideline work group, developed through the NKF’s Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI), highlighted key findings:

  • Pediatric chronic dialysis patients are 1,000 times more likely to die from CVD than the general pediatric population
  • All dialysis units should have on-site capability for external cardiac defibrillation, such as automatic external defibrillators
  • Predialysis and postdialysis blood pressure goals should be < 140/90 mm Hg and < 130/80 mm Hg, respectively
  • Dialysis patients often have CVD-related risk factors, including anemia, hyperparathyroidism, hypoalbumi nemia and chronic inflammation, among others.

“CVD presents unique challenges to dialysis patients that significantly impact longevity and quality of life,” said Norman S. Coplon, chairman and founder of Satellite Healthcare, primary sponsor of the guideline. “We are proud to partner with the National Kidney Foundation to sponsor the development of this guideline. We believe it will improve patient outcomes and encourage sorely needed research.”

Guideline Work Group
The NKF- K/DOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines for Cardiovascular Disease in Dialysis Patients are the culmination of two years’ work reviewing evidence published in peer-reviewed medical journals by 18 volunteer experts in nephrology, cardiology, epidemiology, social work, nutrition, pediatrics, pharmacology, nursing and internal medicine.

Guideline Sponsors
Satellite Healthcare is Primary Development Sponsor of the guideline. Additional guideline sponsors include: Amgen and Genzyme Corporation. Amgen is Founding and Principal Sponsor of NKF-K/DOQI. Sponsors are not involved in any aspect of the actual guideline development process.

To obtain more information about the guideline, call the National Kidney Foundation at (800) 622–9010 or (212) 889-2210, or visit www.kdoqi.org.

About K/DOQI

The National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) provides evidence-based clinical practice guidelines developed by volunteer physicians and health care providers for all phases of kidney disease and related complications, from diagnosis to monitoring and management. K/DOQI expands the Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative or DOQI, a project begun by the National Kidney Foundation in 1995 and recognized throughout the world for improving the care of dialysis patients. For more information, please visit www.kdoqi.org.

About the National Kidney Foundation

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, influencing public policy in support of the kidney community and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation. For more information, please call 800 622-9010.