Successful kidney transplantation offers patients with end-stage renal disease the greatest likelihood of survival. However, cardiovascular disease poses a major threat to both graft and patient survival in this cohort. Transplant recipients are unique in their accumulation of a wide range of traditional and non-traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia and obesity are highly prevalent in patients with end-stage renal disease. These risk factors persist following transplantation and are often exacerbated by the drugs used for immunosuppression in organ transplantation. Additional transplant-specific factors such as poor graft function and proteinuria are also associated with increased cardiovascular risk. However, these transplant-related factors remain unaccounted for in current cardiovascular risk prediction models, making it challenging to identify transplant recipients with highest risk. With few interventional trials in this area specific to transplant recipients, strategies to reduce cardiovascular risk are largely extrapolated from other populations. Aggressive management of traditional cardiovascular risk factors remains the cornerstone of prevention, though there is also a potential role for selecting immunosuppression regimens to minimise additional cardiovascular injury.
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of PhilosophyFile