Aim: Multivascular disease, indicating concurrent arteriosclerotic lesions in a number of different vascular beds, is an independent risk factor for recurrent ischemic events in the general population. However, the impact of multivascular disease on the risk of developing cardiovascular disease has not been fully evaluated in patients receiving hemodialysis. Methods: A total of 3,504 hemodialysis patients were prospectively followed for 10 years. In this study, multivascular disease was defined as the coexistence of coronary artery disease and stroke. We examined the relationship between multivascular disease and the occurrence of composite cardiovascular endpoint, consisting of cardiovascular death, nonfatal coronary artery disease, nonfatal stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Results: The proportion of participants with multivascular disease was 5.7% (n=200) at baseline. During follow-up (median, 106.6 months; interquartile range, 50.1–121.8 months), 1,311 patients experienced the composite endpoint, which was defined as at least one of the following: Cardiovascular death (n= 620), nonfatal coronary artery disease (n= 318), nonfatal stroke (n=340), and peripheral artery disease (n=257). Compared with the group with no history of cardiovascular disease, the risk of experiencing the composite endpoint increased significantly with higher numbers of injured vascular beds in patients with single vascular disease (hazard ratio, 1.68; 95% confidence interval, 1.49–1.89) and in those with multivascular disease (hazard ratio, 2.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.71–2.60). In a multivariable analysis, multivascular disease was an independent predictor of cardiovascular events, in addition to diabetes, aging, and hypertension. Conclusions: This study clearly demonstrated that multivascular disease was a powerful predictor for cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in patients receiving hemodialysis.
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