Abstract Despite a rapid improvement in dialysis technology during the last 20 years, the mortality rate is still very high in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and the death rate is comparable with that of many cancer patients with metastases. The main cause of mortality in ESRD is cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cardiac mortality for dialysis patients aged 45 years or younger is more than 100-fold greater than in the general population. The high cardiovascular mortality rate suggests that ESRD patients are subjected to a process of accelerated atherogenesis. Because factors proven to contribute to atherosclerosis in the general population, such as dyslipidemia, smoking, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension are highly prevalent in ESRD patients, it is reasonable to assume that such risk factors also apply to these patients. However, as it has been shown that the high cardiovascular risk in ESRD is incompletely accounted for by traditional risk factors, it may be speculated that nontraditional risk factors, seemingly more difficult to reconcile, also contribute. Among several putative nontraditional risk factors, chronic inflammation has attracted a lot of interest recently because it seems to be associated to both increased vascular oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction, both of which are important predictors of cardiovascular events in nonrenal patient groups. © 2003 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.