In this study, the incidence of clinical and autopsy arteriosclerosis (AS) was studied in over 300 renal transplant patients (RTP) followed in our clinic up to 13 years post-transplant. Of 45 RTP followed a mean of 10.45 years, the incidence of clinical AS was 6% or 0.58% per year at risk. The incidence of death from AS was 2.2% over 10 years or 0.22% per year at risk. There was no apparent tendency for increase of the risk incidence with increasing time post-transplantation up to 13 years. This incidence of clinical and death-related AS in long term RTP contrasts sharply with a quite high incidence of both clinical and death-related AS in long-term dialysis patients as reported by Scribner's group and both the European and U.S. Dialysis Registry. Of our RTP surviving a decade or more, 77% have normal serum triglycerides and 92% are normotensive, again contrasting sharply with a 70–80% incidence of hyperlipidemia and a 60–80% incidence of hypertension in long-term dialysis patients. These studies suggest that the high rate of accelerated AS in dialysis patients is largely reversed by successful renal transplantation, probably due to a lowering of both blood pressure and hyperlipidemia in the long-term RT patients. Practically, these results suggest that the superior survival of transplant patients over dialysis patients already evident at the 10 year mark will widen further during the second post-transplantation decade.
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