Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD). As matrix metalloproteinases have a major role in atherosclerosis, we hypothesized that alterations in metalloproteinases-8, -10 and their tissue inhibitor-1 can be associated with the severity of atherosclerosis in patients with kidney disease. This was evaluated in a cross-sectional, observational study of 111 patients with stages I-V kidney disease, 217 patients on dialysis and 50 healthy controls. The severity of atherosclerosis was estimated with the atherosclerosis score (AS), combining the results of ankle-brachial index and carotid ultrasound. Serum levels of the two metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitor-1 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and were significantly increased in patients with kidney disease compared with the healthy controls, and higher in patients on dialysis than in earlier stages of CKD. The severity of the AS was also more prevalent in the dialysis group, in which serum levels of both metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitor-1 were significantly higher. After multivariate analysis, metalloproteinase-10, dialysis, C-reactive protein, age, and male gender were associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis. Thus, patients with CKD exhibit elevated levels of circulating metalloproteinase-10, and this was independently associated with the severity of atherosclerosis and may represent a new biomarker of atherosclerotic diseases.