Background: Hemodialysis (HD) patients are exposed to oxidative stress which contributes to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The purpose of this study was to investigate the oxidative and antioxidative status in HD patients with (CVD+, n = 38) and without (CVD-, n = 67) prevalent CVD. Patients and methods: A total of 105 HD patients and 21 healthy controls were assessed for lipid peroxidation indices (plasma malondialdehyde (MDA)), oxidizability of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins (apo B-ΔMDA) and red blood cells (RBC-MDA) together with various components of the antioxidant system in plasma (paraoxonase/arylesterase activities, total carotenoids, vitamins C and E) and RBC (superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities). Results: Plasma MDA and RBC-MDA were significantly higher, vitamin C and total carotenoid levels were significantly lower in both CVD+ and CVD- HD groups than in the control group. Plasma MDA levels were significantly higher and serum paraoxonase activity, uric acid and albumin levels were significantly lower in patients with CVD+ HD patients compared to those of the CVD - patients. Conclusion: This study suggests that the elevated level of plasma MDA and the lower activity of paraoxonase could contribute to the increased incidence of cardiovascular disease in hemodialysis patients. © 2007 Dustri-Verlag Dr. K. Feistle.