Persons with CKD are at a higher risk of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD) and its adverse health outcomes than individuals in the general population who have normal renal function. Classic atherosclerosis risk factors like as age, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia are common in patients with CKD, but CKD also imposes additional unique risk factors that promote arterial disease such as chronic inflammation, hypoalbuminemia, and a procalcific state. Current nephrology clinical practice is adversely affected by PAD diagnostic challenges, the complexities of managing two serious comorbid diseases, delayed vascular specialist referral, and slow PAD treatment initiation in patients with CKD. Persons with CKD are less likely to be provided recommended “optimal” PAD care.
The knowledge that both limb and mortality outcomes are significantly worse in patients with CKD, especially those on dialysis, is not just a biologic fact but can serve as a care delivery call to action. Nephrologists can facilitate positive change. Study proposes that patients with PAD and CKD be strategically comanaged by care teams that encompass the skills to create and use evidence-based care pathways. This new system will identify and resolve key gaps in the current care model so that clinical outcomes improve within a cost-effective care frame for this vulnerable population.