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The cardiovascular system is profoundly affected by changes in renal function. In fact, it has long been known that patients with end stage renal disease undergoing renal replacement treatment carry a dramatically higher risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events as compared to the general population with normal renal function. More recently, it has been fully appreciated that even mild abnormalities in renal function such as the presece of microalbuminuria or a slight, subclinical reduction in glomerular filtration rate, already entail a significant increase in cardiovascular risk. Thus, the kidney may well be looked at as a sensor of cardiovascular risk as well as a target for treatment. This is even more important when one considers that high blood pressure and diabetes, arguably the two most important risk factors for the development of chronic kidney disease are highly prevalent in western countries and are going to be even more over the next two decades. In the U.S., it is currently estimated that over 10% of the general population has a glomerular filtration rate below 60 ml/min and an even greater percentage, about 20-30%, do have an increased urine albumin excretion.
Hypertension has a bidirectional relationship with kidney damage: on the one hand it is the most important risk factor for disease progression and, on the other hand, it is the result of renal disease itself. Furthermore a subtle, subclinical abnormality in renal function has long been regarded as one of the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the developement of primary hypertension.
A better knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the relationship between arterial hypertension, renal function abnormalities and the excess cardiovascular mortality may favourably impact clinical practice at the diagnostic and therapeutic level.
Many international experts in the field will attend the Meeting to discuss and present the latest advances on the topic. The Kidney, Hypertension and Cardiovascular Risk aims at providing both general practitioners and specialists with an up-to-date and in depth overview about therapeutic strategies to prevent hypertension and renal related complications as well as the associated excess of cardiovascular events.

Roberto Pontremoli, President of the Meeting

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