Hypertension in end-stage renal disease

C. Appleby, R. N. Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Chronic renal failure is common. Recent estimates from the United States suggest that one in 10 adults has an elevated serum creatinine. Hypertension and renal disease are intimately connected at many levels, and clearly accelerate each other's course. Hypertension is an almost universal feature of end-stage renal disease, a state of frightening cardiovascular risk. Surprisingly, most recent observational studies have shown an association between low blood pressure and increased mortality, a result that may engender therapeutic nihilism in the absence of large randomised trials. This observation may be due to reverse causality, as the age and cardiovascular comorbidity of patients reaching end-stage renal disease is considerable. When outcomes other than death are considered, especially progressive left ventricular hypertrophy, but also ischaemic heart disease and congestive heart failure, more predictable and expected associations are seen, with rising blood pressure appearing to be a deleterious parameter. Uraemia appears to be a state of premature senescence, and arterial rigidity, whose clinical corollary is wide pulse pressure, is a characteristic feature. Recent observational studies have focused on pulse pressure, rather than the traditional approach of analysing its components, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, in isolation. High pulse pressure appears to be a marker of short survival in dialysis patients, but disentangling this association from old age and pre-existing cardiovascular conditions is challenging. Remarkably, and regrettably, no large scale randomised controlled studies examining strategies that tackle the issue of hypertension in dialysis patients have yet to be initiated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalMinerva Urologica e Nefrologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2002


  • Hypertensiom, epidemiology
  • Kidney failure, chronic complications
  • Kidney failure, chronic, physiophatology
  • Risk factors


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