Although advances in immunosuppression, tissue typing, surgery, and medical management have made transplantation a routine and preferred treatment for patients with irreversible renal failure, successful transplant recipients have a greatly increased risk of premature mortality because of cardiovascular disease and malignancy compared with the general population. Conventional cardiovascular risk factors such as hyperlipidaemia, hypertension, and diabetes are common in transplant recipients, partly because of the effects of immunosuppressive drugs, and are associated with adverse outcomes. However, the natural history of cardiovascular disease in such recipients differs from that in the general population, and only statin therapy has been studied in a large-scale interventional trial. Thus, the management of this disease and the balance between management of conventional risk factors and modification of immunosuppression is complex. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.