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1.  Association Between Retinopathy and Cardiovascular Disease in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (From the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort [CRIC] Study) 
The American Journal of Cardiology  2012;110(2):246-253.
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) experience co-morbid illneses including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and retinopathy. The purpose of this study was to assess the association between retinopathy and self reported CVD in a subgroup of the participants of the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study. In this observational, ancillary investigation, 2605 CRIC participants were invited to participate in this study, and non-mydriatic fundus photographs in both eyes were obtained in 1936 subjects. Photographs were reviewed in a masked fashion at a central photograph reading center. Presence and severity of retinopathy (diabetic, hypertensive or other) and vessel diameter caliber were assessed using standard protocols by trained graders masked to information about study participants. History of self-reported cardiovascular disease was obtained using a medical history questionnaire. Kidney function measurements, traditional and non-traditional risk factors for CVD were obtained from the CRIC study. Greater severity of retinopathy was associated with higher prevalence of any cardiovascular disease and this association persisted after adjustment for traditional risk factors for CVD. Presence of vascular abnormalities usually associated with hypertension was also associated with increased prevalence of CVD. We found a direct relationship between CVD prevalence and mean venular caliber. In conclusion, presence of retinopathy was associated with CVD, suggesting that retinovascular pathology may be indicative of macrovascular disease even after adjustment for renal dysfunction and traditional CVD risk factors. This would make assessment of retinal morphology a valuable tool in chronic kidney disease studies of CVD outcomes.
doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.03.014
PMCID: PMC3383900  PMID: 22516527
Retinopathy; chronic kidney disease; cardiovascular disease
2.  CKD in Hispanics: Baseline Characteristics From the CRIC (Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort) and Hispanic-CRIC Studies 
Background
Little is known regarding chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Hispanics. We compared baseline characteristics of Hispanic participants in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) and Hispanic-CRIC (H-CRIC) Studies with non-Hispanic CRIC participants.
Study Design
Cross-sectional analysis
Setting and Participants
Participants were aged 21–74 years with CKD using age-based glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at enrollment into the CRIC/H-CRIC Studies. H-CRIC included Hispanics recruited at the University of Illinois from 2005–2008 while CRIC included Hispanics and non-Hispanics recruited at seven clinical centers from 2003–2007.
Factor
Race/ethnicity
Outcomes
Blood pressure, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) use, CKD-associated complications
Measurements
Demographic characteristics, laboratory data, blood pressure, and medications were assessed using standard techniques and protocols
Results
Among H-CRIC/ CRIC participants, 497 were Hispanic, 1650 non-Hispanic Black, and 1638 non-Hispanic White. Low income and educational attainment were nearly twice as prevalent in Hispanics compared with non-Hispanics (p<0.01). Hispanics had self-reported diabetes (67%) more frequently than non-Hispanic Blacks (51%) and Whites (40%) (p<0.01). Blood pressure > 130/80 mmHg was more common in Hispanics (62%) compared with Blacks (57%) and Whites (35%) (p<0.05), and abnormalities in hematologic, metabolic, and bone metabolism parameters were more prevalent in Hispanics (p<0.05), even after stratifying by entry eGFR. Hispanics had the lowest receipt of ACE inhibitor/ARB among high-risk subgroups, including participants with diabetes, proteinuria, and blood pressure > 130/80 mmHg. Mean eGFR (ml/min/m2) was lower in Hispanics (39.6) than in Blacks (43.7) and Whites (46.2), while median proteinuria was higher in Hispanics (0.72 g/d) than in Blacks (0.24 g/d) and Whites (0.12 g/d) (p<0.01).
Limitations
Generalizability; observed associations limited by residual bias and confounding
Conclusions
Hispanics with CKD in CRIC/H-CRIC Studies are disproportionately burdened with lower socioeconomic status, more frequent diabetes mellitus, less ACE inhibitor/ARB use, worse blood pressure control, and more severe CKD and associated complications than their non-Hispanic counterparts.
doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2011.05.010
PMCID: PMC3577064  PMID: 21705121
chronic kidney disease; Hispanics; epidemiology
3.  Carotid Plaque, Carotid Intima-Media Thickness, and Coronary Calcification Equally Discriminate Prevalent Cardiovascular Disease in Kidney Disease 
American journal of nephrology  2012;36(4):342-347.
Background
Despite the significant morbidity and mortality attributable to cardiovascular disease (CVD), risk stratification remains an important challenge in the chronic kidney disease(CKD) population. We examined the discriminative ability of non-invasive measures of atherosclerosis, including carotid intima-media thickness(cIMT), carotid plaque, coronary artery calcification(CAC) and ascending and descending thoracic aorta calcification(TCAC), and Framingham Risk Score (FRS) to predict self-reported prevalent CVD.
Methods and Results
Participants were enrolled in the cIMT ancillary study of the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort(CRIC) Study and also had all of the above measures within an 18 month period. CVD was present in 21% of study participants. C-statistics were used to ascertain the discriminatory power of each measure of atherosclerosis. The study population (n=220) was 64% male; 51% black and 45% white. The proportion of individuals with estimated glomerular filtration rate ≥60, 45–59, 30–44, and <30ml/min/1.73m2 was 21%, 41%, 28%, and 11%, respectively. In multivariable analyses adjusting for demographic factors, we failed to find a difference between CAC, carotid plaque, and cIMT as predictors of self-reported prevalent CVD (c-statistic 0.70, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.62–0.78; c-statistic 0.68, 95% CI: 0.60–0.75, and c-statistic 0.64, CI: 0.56–0.72, respectively). CAC was statistically better than FRS. FRS was the weakest discriminator of self-reported prevalent CVD (c-statistic 0.58).
Conclusions
There was a significant burden of atherosclerosis among individuals with CKD, ascertained by several different imaging modalities. We were unable to find a difference in the ability of CAC, carotid plaque, and cIMT to predict self-reported prevalent CVD.
doi:10.1159/000342794
PMCID: PMC3538165  PMID: 23107930
carotid intima media thickness; coronary artery calcification; kidney; plaque
4.  Impact of metabolic syndrome and its components on cardiovascular disease event rates in 4900 patients with type 2 diabetes assigned to placebo in the field randomised trial 
Background
Patients with the metabolic syndrome are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and may have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events.We aimed to establish whether CVD event rates were influenced by the metabolic syndrome as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and to determine which component(s) of the metabolic syndrome (MS) conferred the highest cardiovascular risk in in 4900 patients with type 2 diabetes allocated to placebo in the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) trial.
Research design and methods
We determined the influence of MS variables, as defined by NCEP ATPIII, IDF and WHO, on CVD risk over 5 years, after adjustment for CVD, sex, HbA1c, creatinine, and age, and interactions between the MS variables in a Cox proportional-hazards model.
Results
About 80% had hypertension, and about half had other features of the metabolic syndrome (IDF, ATPIII). There was no difference in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome variables between those with and without CVD at study entry. The WHO definition identified those at higher CVD risk across both sexes, all ages, and in those without prior CVD, while the ATPIII definition predicted risk only in those aged over 65 years and in men but not in women. Patients meeting the IDF definition did not have higher risk than those without IDF MS.
CVD risk was strongly influenced by prior CVD, sex, age (particularly in women), baseline HbA1c, renal dysfunction, hypertension, and dyslipidemia (low HDL-c, triglycerides > 1.7 mmol/L). The combination of low HDL-c and marked hypertriglyceridemia (> 2.3 mmol/L) increased CVD risk by 41%. Baseline systolic blood pressure increased risk by 16% per 10 mmHg in those with no prior CVD, but had no effect in those with CVD. In those without prior CVD, increasing numbers of metabolic syndrome variables (excluding waist) escalated risk.
Conclusion
Absence of the metabolic syndrome (by the WHO definition) identifies diabetes patients without prior CVD, who have a lower risk of future CVD events. Hypertension and dyslipidemia increase risk.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-10-102
PMCID: PMC3286386  PMID: 22104275
5.  “Association between moderate renal insufficiency and cardiovascular events in a general population: Tehran lipid and glucose study” 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:59.
Background
Chronic kidney disease(CKD) has been proposed as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). There is conflicting evidence among community based studies regarding the association between CKD and CVD. Furthermore, in order to assess the possible interaction between CKD and BMI, we also examined the association between CKD and CVD, across different BMI categories.
Methods
The risk of CVD events was evaluated in a large cohort of participants selected from the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study. Participants(mean age, 47.4 years) free of previous CVD were followed up for 9.1 years. GFR ml/min per 1.73 m2 was estimated using the MDRD formula.
Results
Of the 6,209 participants, 22.2%(1381) had CKD with eGFR ml/min per 1.73 m2 <60 at baseline. Almost all of them (99%) were in stage 3a. Moderate renal insufficiency only predicted CVD outcomes independently when we adjusted for age and sex. After further adjustment, the presence of moderate CKD lost its statistical significance to confer an independent increased risk of CVD events with a hazard ratio of: HR: 1.14, CI 95% 0.91-1.42. Furthermore, when participants were categorized according to CKD status and BMI groups, after further adjustment, no interaction was found(P = 0.2).
Conclusion
CKD was not an independent risk factor for CVD events in a community-based study in a Tehranian population and the higher prevalence of CVD in subjects with mild to moderate renal insufficiency might be due to the co-occurrence of traditional CVD risk factors in this group.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-59
PMCID: PMC3413571  PMID: 22799559
Chronic kidney disease; Cardiovascular disease; Body mass index; Glomerular filtration rate; General population
6.  Chronic Kidney Disease as a Predictor of Cardiovascular Disease (From the Framingham Heart Study) 
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), although shared risk factors may mediate much of the association. We related CKD and CVD in the setting of specific CVD risk factors and determined whether more advanced CKD was a CVD risk equivalent. The Framingham Heart Study original cohort (n=2471, mean age 68 years, 58.9% women) was studied. Glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was estimated using the simplified Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study equation. CKD was defined as eGFR < 59 mL/min per 1.73 m2 (women) and < 64 (men) and Stage 3b CKD defined as eGFR 30-44 (women) and 30-50 (men). Cox Proportional Hazard models adjusting for CVD risk factors were used to relate CKD to CVD. We tested for effect modification by CVD risk factors. Overall, 23.2% of the study sample had CKD (n=574; mean eGFR 50 mL/min per 1.73 m2) and 5.3% had Stage 3b CKD (n=131; mean eGFR 42 mL/min per 1.73 m2). In multivariable models (mean follow-up time 16 years), Stage 3 CKD was marginally associated with CVD (HR=1.17, 95% CI 0.99-1.38, p=0.06), whereas Stage 3b CKD was associated with CVD [HR=1.41, 95% CI 1.05-1.91, p=0.02]. Upon testing CVD risk equivalency, the risk of CVD for Stage 3b CKD among participants with prior CVD was significantly lower as compared to participants with prior CVD and no Stage 3b CKD (age- and sex-adjusted HR for CVD = 0.66 [95% CI 0.47 to 0.91], p=0.01). Low HDL modified the association between CKD and CVD (p-value=0.004 for interaction). Stage 3b CKD is associated with CVD but is not a CVD risk equivalent. In conclusion, CVD risk in the setting of CKD is higher in the setting of low HDL cholesterol.
doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2008.02.095
PMCID: PMC2517213  PMID: 18572034
7.  The Association of Chronic Kidney Disease and Metabolic Syndrome with Incident Cardiovascular Events: Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Background. There is an association between chronic kidney disease (CKD) and metabolic syndrome (MetS). We examined the joint association of CKD and MetS with incident cardiovascular (CVD) events in the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort. Methods. We analyzed 2,283 Caucasians, 363 Chinese, 1,449 African-Americans, and 1,068 Hispanics in the MESA cohort. CKD was defined by cystatin C estimated glomerular filtration rate ≤ 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and MetS was defined by NCEP criteria. Cox proportional regression adjusting for age, ethnicity, gender, study site, education, income, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, and total and LDL cholesterol was performed to assess the joint association of CKD and MetS with incident CVD events. Participants were divided into four groups by presence of CKD and/or MetS and compared to the group without CKD and MetS (CKD−/MetS−). Tests for additive and multiplicative interactions between CKD and MetS and prediction of incident CVD were performed. Results. During follow-up period of 5.5 years, 283 participants developed CVD. Multivariate Cox regression analysis demonstrated that CKD and MetS were independent predictors of CVD (hazard ratio, 2.02 for CKD, and 2.55 for MetS). When participants were compared to the CKD−/MetS− group, adjusted HR for the CKD+/MetS+ group was 5.56 (95% CI 3.72–8.12). There was no multiplicative interaction between CKD and MetS (P = 0.2); however, there was presence of additive interaction. The relative excess risk for additive interaction (RERI) was 2.73, P = 0.2, and the attributable portion (AP) was 0.49 (0.24–0.74). Conclusion. Our findings illustrate that the combination of CKD and MetS is a strong predictor of incident clinical cardiovascular events due to presence of additive interaction between CKD and MetS.
doi:10.1155/2012/806102
PMCID: PMC3154776  PMID: 21860804
8.  Association of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease with Chronic Kidney Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(7):e1001680.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis, Giovanni Musso and colleagues examine the association between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and chronic kidney disease.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a frequent, under-recognized condition and a risk factor for renal failure and cardiovascular disease. Increasing evidence connects non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) to CKD. We conducted a meta-analysis to determine whether the presence and severity of NAFLD are associated with the presence and severity of CKD.
Methods and Findings
English and non-English articles from international online databases from 1980 through January 31, 2014 were searched. Observational studies assessing NAFLD by histology, imaging, or biochemistry and defining CKD as either estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 or proteinuria were included. Two reviewers extracted studies independently and in duplicate. Individual participant data (IPD) were solicited from all selected studies. Studies providing IPD were combined with studies providing only aggregate data with the two-stage method. Main outcomes were pooled using random-effects models. Sensitivity and subgroup analyses were used to explore sources of heterogeneity and the effect of potential confounders. The influences of age, whole-body/abdominal obesity, homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and duration of follow-up on effect estimates were assessed by meta-regression. Thirty-three studies (63,902 participants, 16 population-based and 17 hospital-based, 20 cross-sectional, and 13 longitudinal) were included. For 20 studies (61% of included studies, 11 cross-sectional and nine longitudinal, 29,282 participants), we obtained IPD. NAFLD was associated with an increased risk of prevalent (odds ratio [OR] 2.12, 95% CI 1.69–2.66) and incident (hazard ratio [HR] 1.79, 95% CI 1.65–1.95) CKD. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) was associated with a higher prevalence (OR 2.53, 95% CI 1.58–4.05) and incidence (HR 2.12, 95% CI 1.42–3.17) of CKD than simple steatosis. Advanced fibrosis was associated with a higher prevalence (OR 5.20, 95% CI 3.14–8.61) and incidence (HR 3.29, 95% CI 2.30–4.71) of CKD than non-advanced fibrosis. In all analyses, the magnitude and direction of effects remained unaffected by diabetes status, after adjustment for other risk factors, and in other subgroup and meta-regression analyses. In cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, the severity of NAFLD was positively associated with CKD stages. Limitations of analysis are the relatively small size of studies utilizing liver histology and the suboptimal sensitivity of ultrasound and biochemistry for NAFLD detection in population-based studies.
Conclusion
The presence and severity of NAFLD are associated with an increased risk and severity of CKD.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Chronic kidney disease (CKD)—the gradual loss of kidney function—is becoming increasingly common. In the US, for example, more than 10% of the adult population (about 26 million people) and more than 25% of individuals older than 65 years have CKD. Throughout life, the kidneys perform the essential task of filtering waste products (from the normal breakdown of tissues and from food) and excess water from the blood to make urine. CKD gradually destroys the kidneys' filtration units, the rate of blood filtration decreases, and dangerous amounts of waste products build up in the blood. Symptoms of CKD, which rarely occur until the disease is very advanced, include tiredness, swollen feet, and frequent urination, particularly at night. There is no cure for CKD, but progression of the disease can be slowed by controlling high blood pressure and diabetes (two risk factors for CKD), and by adopting a healthy lifestyle. The same interventions also reduce the chances of CKD developing in the first place.
Why Was This Study Done?
CKD is associated with an increased risk of end-stage renal (kidney) disease and of cardiovascular disease. These life-threatening complications are potentially preventable through early identification and treatment of CKD. Because early recognition of CKD has the potential to reduce its health-related burden, the search is on for new modifiable risk factors for CKD. One possible new risk factor is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which, like CKD is becoming increasingly common. Healthy livers contain little or no fat but, in the US, 30% of the general adult population and up to 70% of patients who are obese or have diabetes have some degree of NAFLD, which ranges in severity from simple fatty liver (steatosis), through non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), to NASH with fibrosis (scarring of the liver) and finally cirrhosis (extensive scarring). In this systematic review and meta-analysis, the researchers investigate whether NAFLD is a risk factor for CKD by looking for an association between the two conditions. A systematic review identifies all the research on a given topic using predefined criteria, meta-analysis uses statistical methods to combine the results of several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 33 studies that assessed NAFLD and CKD in nearly 64,000 participants, including 20 cross-sectional studies in which participants were assessed for NAFLD and CKD at a single time point and 13 longitudinal studies in which participants were assessed for NAFLD and then followed up to see whether they subsequently developed CKD. Meta-analysis of the data from the cross-sectional studies indicated that NAFLD was associated with a 2-fold increased risk of prevalent (pre-existing) CKD (an odds ratio [OR]of 2.12; an OR indicates the chance that an outcome will occur given a particular exposure, compared to the chance of the outcome occurring in the absence of that exposure). Meta-analysis of data from the longitudinal studies indicated that NAFLD was associated with a nearly 2-fold increased risk of incident (new) CKD (a hazard ratio [HR] of 1.79; an HR indicates often a particular event happens in one group compared to how often it happens in another group, over time). NASH was associated with a higher prevalence and incidence of CKD than simple steatosis. Similarly, advanced fibrosis was associated with a higher prevalence and incidence of CKD than non-advanced fibrosis.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that NAFLD is associated with an increased prevalence and incidence of CKD and that increased severity of liver disease is associated with an increased risk and severity of CKD. Because these associations persist after allowing for established risk factors for CKD, these findings identify NAFLD as an independent CKD risk factor. Certain aspects of the studies included in this meta-analysis (for example, only a few studies used biopsies to diagnose NAFLD; most used less sensitive tests that may have misclassified some individuals with NAFLD as normal) and the methods used in the meta-analysis may limit the accuracy of these findings. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that individuals with NAFLD should be screened for CKD even in the absence of other risk factors for the disease, and that better treatment of NAFLD may help to prevent CKD.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001680.
The US National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse provides information about all aspects of kidney disease; the US National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse provides information about non-alcoholic liver disease
The US National Kidney Disease Education Program provides resources to help improve the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients on chronic kidney disease, including some personal stories, and information on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
The US National Kidney Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, provides information about chronic kidney disease (in English and Spanish)
The not-for-profit UK National Kidney Federation provides support and information for patients with kidney disease and for their carers
The British Liver Trust, a not-for-profit organization, provides information about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, including a patient story
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001680
PMCID: PMC4106719  PMID: 25050550
9.  Renal Dysfunction, Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality 
Background. Renal disease is commonly described as a complication of metabolic syndrome (MetS) but some recent studies suggest that Chronic Kidney disease (CKD) may actually antecede MetS. Few studies have explored the predictive utility of co-clustering CKD with MetS for cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. Methods. Data from a nationally representative sample of United States adults (NHANES) was utilized. A sample of 13115 non-pregnant individuals aged ≥35 years, with available follow-up mortality assessment was selected. Multivariable Cox Proportional hazard regression analysis techniques explored the relationship between co-clustered CKD, MetS and CVD mortality. Bayesian analysis techniques tested the predictive accuracy for CVD Mortality of two models using co-clustered MetS and CKD and MetS alone. Results. Co-clustering early and late CKD respectively resulted in statistically significant higher hazard for CVD mortality (HR = 1.80, CI = 1.45–2.23, and HR = 3.23, CI = 2.56–3.70) when compared with individuals with no MetS and no CKD. A model with early CKD and MetS has a higher predictive accuracy (72.0% versus 67.6%), area under the ROC (0.74 versus 0.66), and Cohen's kappa (0.38 versus 0.21) than that with MetS alone. Conclusion. The study findings suggest that the co-clustering of early CKD with MetS increases the accuracy of risk prediction for CVD mortality.
doi:10.1155/2010/167162
PMCID: PMC2911619  PMID: 20700408
10.  Gout and subsequent increased risk of cardiovascular mortality in non-diabetics aged 50 and above: a population-based cohort study in Taiwan 
Background
Limited data are available on the risk ratios for fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcome from gout and chronic kidney disease (CKD) in non-diabetic individuals.
Methods
Nationwide population-based retrospective prospective study with a 5-year follow-up to investigate the association between physician-diagnosed gout and CKD in non-diabetics aged 50 and above who had no pre-existing serious CVD and the subsequent risk of death from CVD. Hazard ratios (HR) of CVD mortality were adjusted for gender, age, smoking- and alcoholism-related diagnoses, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, atrial fibrillation and Charlson’s comorbidity index score.
Results
A case cohort (n=164,463) having gout and a control cohort (n= 3,694,377) having no gout were formed. The prevalence of gout in this study was 4.26% whereas that of gout plus CKD was 8.17%. Male to female ratio among the individuals with gout was 3.2:1. The relative risk (RR) of subsequent cardiovascular mortality between the case and control cohort was 1.71 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.66-1.75). The presence of CKD in nondiabetic subjects with no gout (control group) has a RR of CVD mortality at 3.05 (95% CI, 2.94-3.15). The presence of gout has protective effect on subjects with CKD with a RR of 1.84 (95% CI, 1.71-1.98). As compared with individuals with no gout, the adjusted HR (aHR) for CVD mortality among the individuals with gout was 1.10 (95% CI 1.07-1.13). In a Cox model, when compared with subjects having neither gout nor CKD, the aHR in subjects with no gout but with CKD is 1.76 (95% CI, 1.70-1.82); in subjects with gout but without CKD, 1.10 (1.07-1.13); interestingly, the aHR is attenuated in subjects with concomitant gout plus CKD which is 1.38 (1.29-1.48).
Conclusions
Among non-diabetic individuals aged 50 years or above who had no preceding serious CVD, those with gout were 1.1 times more likely to die from CVD as were individuals without gout. The presence of gout appears to attenuate the risk of subsequent CV mortality in subjects with CKD. Further studies should focus on finding an explanation for the protective effect of gout on CV mortality in patients with CKD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-108
PMCID: PMC3556493  PMID: 23170782
11.  Diabetic Cardiovascular Disease Predicts Chronic Kidney Disease Awareness in the Kidney Early Evaluation Program 
Cardiorenal Medicine  2011;1(1):45-52.
Aims
Lack of chronic kidney disease (CKD) awareness is common. Recent data suggest that the presence of concurrent diabetes may heighten CKD awareness, but current data have not supported the hypothesis that healthcare delivery or insurance status improves awareness in the diabetic population. Diabetes is associated with high cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity, especially in patients with CKD. We hypothesized that a highly prevalent co-morbid condition such as CVD in patients with diabetes would predict CKD awareness.
Methods
We utilized data from the National Kidney Foundation-Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEPTM), a large screening program designed to identify high-risk individuals for CKD and promote awareness.
Results
Among 77,077 participants, CKD was identified in 20,200 and diabetes in 23,082. Prevalence of CVD was higher in participants with than without diabetes (39.5 vs. 22.0%) and in stage 3–5 compared to stage 1–2 CKD (43.3 vs. 34.4%). Patients with diabetes and CVD had a higher level of awareness than those without diabetes (8.2 vs. 2.2%). Among patients with diabetes and CVD, the presence of congestive heart failure was a better predictor of awareness [odds ratio (OR) 1.84; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.40–2.43] than endpoints such as myocardial infarction or stroke [OR 1.35 (95% CI 1.04–1.73) and OR 1.34 (95% CI 1.04–1.72), respectively].
Conclusions
While prevalence of CKD awareness remained low, our data suggest that in patients with diabetes the presence of CVD was associated with increased awareness in a targeted screening program for CKD awareness.
doi:10.1159/000322862
PMCID: PMC3101520  PMID: 22258465
Cardiovascular disease; Chronic kidney disease; Diabetes mellitus; KEEP
12.  Chronic Kidney Disease and Prevalent Atrial Fibrillation: The Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) 
American heart journal  2010;159(6):1102-1107.
Background
The epidemiology of atrial fibrillation (AF) has been mainly investigated in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), with limited data on less advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages.
Methods
A total of 3267 adult participants (50% non-Hispanic blacks, 46% females) with CKD from the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) were included in this study. None of the study participants had been on dialysis. Those with self-identified race/ethnicity other than non-Hispanic black or white (N=323) or those without ECG data (N=22) were excluded. AF was ascertained by a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) and self-report. Age- sex- race/ethnicity-specific prevalence rates of AF were estimated and compared between subgroups. Cross sectional associations and correlates with prevalent AF were examined using unadjusted and multivariable adjusted logistic regression analysis.
Results
The mean estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was 43.6 (±13.0) ml/min/1.73 m2. AF was present in 18% of the study population and in more than 25% of those 70 years or older. In multivariable adjusted models, 1-SD increase in age (11 years) [odds ratio (OR) and CI 95%: 1.27 (1.13, 1.43), P<0.0001], female sex [0.80 (0.65, 0.98), P=0.0303], smoking (former vs. never) [1.34 (1.08, 1.66), P= 0.0081], history of heart failure [3.28 (2.47, 4.36), P<0.001], and history of cardiovascular disease [1.94 (1.56, 2.43), P<0.0001] were significantly associated with AF. Race/ethnicity, hypertension, diabetes, body mass index, physical activity, education, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, total cholesterol, and alcohol intake were not significantly associated with AF. An estimated GFR <45 ml/min/1.73 m2 was associated with AF in an unadjusted model [1.35 (1.13–1.62)); P=0.0010)], but not after multivariable adjustment [1.12 (0.92– 1.35), P=0.2710].
Conclusions
Nearly one in five participants in CRIC, a national study of CKD, had evidence for AF at study entry, a prevalence similar to that reported among patients with ESRD and 2–3 times of that reported in the general population. Risk factors for AF in this CKD population do not mirror those reported in the general population.
doi:10.1016/j.ahj.2010.03.027
PMCID: PMC2891979  PMID: 20569726
13.  Factors Associated With Depressive Symptoms and Use of Antidepressant Medications Among Participants in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) and Hispanic-CRIC Studies 
Background
Depressive symptoms are correlated with poor health outcomes in adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The prevalence, severity, and treatment of depressive symptoms and potential risk factors, including level of kidney function, in diverse populations with CKD have not been well studied.
Study Design
Cross-sectional analysis
Settings and Participants
Participants at enrollment into the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) and Hispanic-CRIC (H-CRIC) Studies. CRIC enrolled Hispanics and non-Hispanics at seven centers from 2003-2007, and H-CRIC enrolled Hispanics at the University of Illinois from 2005-2008.
Measurement
Depressive symptoms measured by Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)
Predictors
Demographic and clinical factors
Outcomes
Elevated depressive symptoms (BDI >= 11) and antidepressant medication use
Results
Among 3853 participants, 28.5% had evidence of elevated depressive symptoms and 18.2% were using antidepressant medications; 30.8% of persons with elevated depressive symptoms were using antidepressants. The prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms varied by level of kidney function: 25.2% among participants with eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73m2, and 35.1% of those with eGFR < 30 ml/min/1.73m2. Lower eGFR (OR per 10 ml/min/1.73m2 decrease, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.03-1.16), Hispanic ethnicity (OR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.12-2.45), and non-Hispanic black race (OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.17-1.74) were each associated with increased odds of elevated depressive symptoms after controlling for other factors. In regression analyses incorporating BDI score, while female sex was associated with a greater odds of antidepressant use, Hispanic ethnicity, non-Hispanic black race, and higher levels of urine albumin were associated with decreased odds of antidepressant use (p<0.05 for each).
Limitations
Absence of clinical diagnosis of depression and use of non-pharmacologic treatments
Conclusions
Although elevated depressive symptoms were common in individuals with CKD, use of antidepressant medications is low. African Americans, Hispanics, and individuals with more advanced CKD had higher odds of elevated depressive symptoms and lower odds of antidepressant medication use.
doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2011.12.033
PMCID: PMC3378778  PMID: 22497791
14.  Estimated GFR and Incident Cardiovascular Disease Events in American Indians: The Strong Heart Study 
Background
In populations with high prevalence of diabetes and obesity, estimating glomerular filtration rate (GFR) by using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation may predict cardiovascular disease risk better than by using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study equation.
Study design
Longitudinal cohort study comparing the association of GFR estimated using either the CKD-EPI or MDRD Study equations with incident cardiovascular disease outcomes.
Setting and participants
American Indians participating in the Strong Heart Study, a longitudinal population-based cohort with high prevalences of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and CKD.
Predictor or factor
eGFR predicted using the CKD-EPI and MDRD Study equations.
Outcomes
Fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events, consisting of coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure.
Measurements
The association between eGFR and outcomes was explored in Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for traditional risk factors and albuminuria; the net reclassification index and integrated discrimination improvement were determined for the CKD-EPI versus MDRD Study equations.
Results
Among 4549 participants, diabetes was present in 45%, cardiovascular disease in 7%, and stage 3–5 CKD in 10%. Over a median of 15 years, there were 1280 cases of incident CVD, 929 of incident coronary heart disease, 305 of incident stroke, and 381 of incident heart failure. Reduced eGFR (<90 mL/min/1.73 m2) was associated with adverse events in most models. Compared with the MDRD Study equation, the CKD-EPI equation correctly reclassified 17.0% of 2,151 participants without incident CVD to a lower risk (higher eGFR) category and 1.3% (n=28) were incorrectly reclassified to a higher risk (lower eGFR) category.
Limitations
Single measurements of eGFR and albuminuria at study visits.
Conclusions
Although eGFR based on either equation had similar associations with incident cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure events, among those not having events, reclassification of participants to eGFR categories was superior using the CKD-EPI equation compared with the MDRD Study equation.
doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2012.06.015
PMCID: PMC3473098  PMID: 22841159
cardiovascular disease risk; chronic kidney disease; estimated glomerular filtration rate; Strong Heart Study
15.  Predictors of high sensitivity cardiac troponin T in chronic kidney disease patients: a cross-sectional study in the chronic renal insufficiency cohort (CRIC) 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:229.
Background
Cardiac troponin T is independently associated with cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Serum levels of high sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-TnT) reflect subclinical myocardial injury in ambulatory patients. We sought to determine the distribution and predictors of hs-TnT in CKD patients without overt cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Methods
We studied 2464 participants within the multi-ethnic Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) who did not have self-reported CVD. We considered renal and non-renal factors as potential determinants of hs-TnT, including demographics, comorbidities, left ventricular (LV) mass, serologic factors, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and albumin to creatinine ratio.
Results
Hs-TnT was detectable in 81% of subjects, and the median (IQR) hs-TnT was 9.4 pg/ml (4.3-18.3). Analysis was performed using Tobit regression, adjusting for renal and non-renal factors. After adjustment, lower eGFR was associated with higher expected hs-TnT; participants with eGFR < 30 ml/min/1.73 m2 had 3-fold higher expected hs-TnT compared to subjects with eGFR > 60. Older age, male gender, black race, LV mass, diabetes and higher blood pressure all had strong, independent associations with higher expected hs-TnT.
Conclusions
Knowledge of the determinants of hs-TnT in this cohort may guide further research on the pathology of heart disease in patients with CKD and help to stratify sub-groups of CKD patients at higher cardiovascular risk.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-229
PMCID: PMC4016297  PMID: 24148285
Troponin T; Chronic kidney disease; Cardiovascular disease
16.  Effects of Fenofibrate Treatment on Cardiovascular Disease Risk in 9,795 Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes and Various Components of the Metabolic Syndrome 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(3):493-498.
OBJECTIVE—We explored whether cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and the effects of fenofibrate differed in subjects with and without metabolic syndrome and according to various features of metabolic syndrome defined by the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) in subjects with type 2 diabetes in the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—The prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its features was calculated. Cox proportional models adjusted for age, sex, CVD status, and baseline A1C levels were used to determine the independent contributions of metabolic syndrome features to total CVD event rates and the effects of fenofibrate.
RESULTS—More than 80% of FIELD participants met the ATP III criteria for metabolic syndrome. Each ATP III feature of metabolic syndrome, apart from increased waist circumference, increased the absolute risk of CVD events over 5 years by at least 3%. Those with marked dyslipidemia (elevated triglycerides ≥2.3 mmol/l and low HDL cholesterol) were at the highest risk of CVD (17.8% over 5 years). Fenofibrate significantly reduced CVD events in those with low HDL cholesterol or hypertension. The largest effect of fenofibrate to reduce CVD risk was observed in subjects with marked dyslipidemia in whom a 27% relative risk reduction (95% CI 9–42, P = 0.005; number needed to treat = 23) was observed. Subjects with no prior CVD had greater risk reductions than the entire group.
CONCLUSIONS—Metabolic syndrome components identify higher CVD risk in individuals with type 2 diabetes, so the absolute benefits of fenofibrate are likely to be greater when metabolic syndrome features are present. The highest risk and greatest benefits of fenofibrate are seen among those with marked hypertriglyceridemia.
doi:10.2337/dc08-1543
PMCID: PMC2646035  PMID: 18984774
17.  Baseline characteristics and prevalence of cardiovascular disease in newly visiting or referred chronic kidney disease patients to nephrology centers in Japan: a prospective cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:152.
Background
About 39,000 patients were newly prescribed renal replacement therapy in Japan in 2011, resulting in a total of more than 300,000 patients being treated with dialysis. This high prevalence of treated end stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients is an emergent problem that requires immediate attention. We launched a prospective cohort study to evaluate population specific characteristics of the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). In this report, we describe the baseline characteristics and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevalence among this cohort.
Methods
New patients from 16 nephrology centers who were older than 20 years of age and who visited or were referred for the treatment of CKD stage 2–5, but were not on dialysis therapy, were recruited in this study. At enrollment, medical history, lifestyle behaviors, functional status and current medications were recorded, and blood and urine samples were collected. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated by a modified three-variable equation.
Results
We enrolled 1138 patients, 69.6% of whom were male, with a mean age of 68 years. Compared with Western cohorts, patients in this study had a lower body mass index (BMI) and higher proteinuria. The prevalence of CVD was 26.8%, which was lower than that in Western cohorts but higher than that in the general Japanese population. Multivariate analysis demonstrated the following association with CVD prevalence: hypertension (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3.57; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.82-7.02); diabetes (aOR 2.45; 95% CI 1.86-3.23); hemoglobin level less than 11 g/dl (aOR 1.61; 95% CI 1.21-2.15); receiving anti-hypertensive agents (aOR 3.54; 95% CI 2.27-5.53); and statin therapy (aOR 2.73; 95% CI 2.04-3.66). The combination of decreased eGFR and increased proteinuria was also associated with a higher prevalence of CVD.
Conclusions
The participants in this cohort had a lower BMI, higher proteinuria and lower prevalence of CVD compared with Western cohorts. Lower eGFR and high proteinuria were associated with CVD prevalence. Prospective follow up of these study patients will contribute to establishment of individual population-based treatment of CKD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-152
PMCID: PMC3723419  PMID: 23865418
Chronic kidney disease; Cohort study; Epidemiology; Cardiovascular disease; Nephrologist
18.  Reduced Glomerular Filtration Rate and Its Association with Clinical Outcome in Older Patients at Risk of Vascular Events: Secondary Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(1):e1000016.
Background
Reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in young and middle aged individuals. Associations with cardiovascular disease and mortality in older people are less clearly established. We aimed to determine the predictive value of the GFR for mortality and morbidity using data from the 5,804 participants randomized in the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER).
Methods and Findings
Glomerular filtration rate was estimated (eGFR) using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation and was categorized in the ranges ([20–40], [40–50], [50–60]) ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73 m2. Baseline risk factors were analysed by category of eGFR, with and without adjustment for other risk factors. The associations between baseline eGFR and morbidity and mortality outcomes, accrued after an average of 3.2 y, were investigated using Cox proportional hazard models adjusting for traditional risk factors. We tested for evidence of an interaction between the benefit of statin treatment and baseline eGFR status. Age, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, C-reactive protein (CRP), body mass index, fasting glucose, female sex, histories of hypertension and vascular disease were associated with eGFR (p = 0.001 or less) after adjustment for other risk factors. Low eGFR was independently associated with risk of all cause mortality, vascular mortality, and other noncancer mortality and with fatal and nonfatal coronary and heart failure events (hazard ratios adjusted for CRP and other risk factors (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for eGFR < 40 ml/min/1.73m2 relative to eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73m2 respectively 2.04 (1.48–2.80), 2.37 (1.53–3.67), 3.52 (1.78–6.96), 1.64 (1.18–2.27), 3.31 (2.03–5.41). There were no nominally statistically significant interactions (p < 0.05) between randomized treatment allocation and eGFR for clinical outcomes, with the exception of the outcome of coronary heart disease death or nonfatal myocardial infarction (p = 0.021), with the interaction suggesting increased benefit of statin treatment in subjects with impaired GFRs.
Conclusions
We have established that, in an elderly population over the age of 70 y, impaired GFR is associated with female sex, with presence of vascular disease, and with levels of other risk factors that would be associated with increased risk of vascular disease. Further, impaired GFR is independently associated with significant levels of increased risk of all cause mortality and fatal vascular events and with composite fatal and nonfatal coronary and heart failure outcomes. Our analyses of the benefits of statin treatment in relation to baseline GFR suggest that there is no reason to exclude elderly patients with impaired renal function from treatment with a statin.
Using data from the PROSPER trial, Ian Ford and colleagues investigate whether reduced glomerular filtration rate is associated with cardiovascular and mortality risk among elderly people.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—disease that affects the heart and/or the blood vessels—is a common cause of death in developed countries. In the USA, for example, the single leading cause of death is coronary heart disease, a CVD in which narrowing of the heart's blood vessels slows or stops the blood supply to the heart and eventually causes a heart attack. Other types of CVD include stroke (in which narrowing of the blood vessels interrupts the brain's blood supply) and heart failure (a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body). Many factors increase the risk of developing CVD, including high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol, having diabetes, smoking, and being overweight. Tools such as the “Framingham risk calculator” assess an individual's overall CVD risk by taking these and other risk factors into account. CVD risk can be minimized by taking drugs to reduce blood pressure or cholesterol levels (for example, pravastatin) and by making lifestyle changes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Another potential risk factor for CVD is impaired kidney (renal) function. In healthy people, the kidneys filter waste products and excess fluid out of the blood. A reduced “estimated glomerular filtration rate” (eGFR), which indicates impaired renal function, is associated with increased CVD in young and middle-aged people and increased all-cause and cardiovascular death in people who have vascular disease. But is reduced eGFR also associated with CVD and death in older people? If it is, it would be worth encouraging elderly people with reduced eGFR to avoid other CVD risk factors. In this study, the researchers determine the predictive value of eGFR for all-cause and vascular mortality (deaths caused by CVD) and for incident vascular events (a first heart attack, stroke, or heart failure) using data from the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER). This clinical trial examined pravastatin's effects on CVD development among 70–82 year olds with pre-existing vascular disease or an increased risk of CVD because of smoking, hypertension, or diabetes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The trial participants were divided into four groups based on their eGFR at the start of the study. The researchers then investigated the association between baseline CVD risk factors and baseline eGFR and between baseline eGFR and vascular events and deaths that occurred during the 3-year study. Several established CVD risk factors were associated with a reduced eGFR after allowing for other risk factors. In addition, people with a low eGFR (between 20 and 40 units) were twice as likely to die from any cause as people with an eGFR above 60 units (the normal eGFR for a young person is 100 units; eGFR decreases with age) and more than three times as likely to have nonfatal coronary heart disease or heart failure. A low eGFR also increased the risk of vascular mortality, other noncancer deaths, and fatal coronary heart disease and heart failure. Finally, pravastatin treatment reduced coronary heart disease deaths and nonfatal heart attacks most effectively among participants with the greatest degree of eGFR impairment.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that, in elderly people, impaired renal function is associated with levels of established CVD risk factors that increase the risk of vascular disease. They also suggest that impaired kidney function increases the risk of all-cause mortality, fatal vascular events, and fatal and nonfatal coronary heat disease and heart failure. Because the study participants were carefully chosen for inclusion in PROSPER, these findings may not be generalizable to all elderly people with vascular disease or vascular disease risk factors. Nevertheless, increased efforts should probably be made to encourage elderly people with reduced eGFR and other vascular risk factors to make lifestyle changes to reduce their overall CVD risk. Finally, although the effect of statins in elderly patients with renal dysfunction needs to be examined further, these findings suggest that this group of patients should benefit at least as much from statins as elderly patients with healthy kidneys.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000016.
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has pages on coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to many other sources of information on heart disease, vascular disease, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information on how the kidneys work and what can go wrong with them, including a list of links to further information about kidney disease
The American Heart Association provides information on all aspects of cardiovascular disease for patients, caregivers, and professionals (in several languages)
More information about PROSPER is available on the Web site of the Vascular Biochemistry Department of the University of Glasgow
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000016
PMCID: PMC2628400  PMID: 19166266
19.  Association of HbA1c and cardiovascular and renal disease in an adult Mediterranean population 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:151.
Background
Increasing evidence suggests a mechanistic link between the glycemic environment and renal and cardiovascular events, even below the threshold for diabetes. We aimed to assess the association between HbA1c and chronic kidney disease (CKD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Methods
A cross-sectional study involving a random representative sample of 2270 adults from southern Spain (Malaga) was undertaken. We measured HbA1c, serum creatinine and albuminuria in fasting blood and urine samples.
Results
Individuals without diabetes in the upper HbA1c tertile had an unfavorable cardiovascular and renal profile and shared certain clinical characteristics with the patients with diabetes. Overall, a higher HbA1c concentration was strongly associated with CKD or CVD after adjustment for traditional risk factors. The patients with known diabetes had a 2-fold higher odds of CKD or CVD. However, when both parameters were introduced in the same model, the HbA1c concentration was only significantly associated with clinical endpoints (OR: 1.4, 95% CI, 1.1-1.6, P = 0.002). An increase in HbA1c of one percentage point was associated with a 30% to 40% increase in the rate of CKD or CVD. This relationship was apparent in persons with and without known diabetes. ROC curves illustrated that a HbA1c of 37 mmol/mol (5.5%) was the optimal value in terms of sensitivity and specificity for predicting endpoints in this population.
Conclusion
HbA1c levels were associated with a higher prevalence of CKD and CVD cross-sectionally, regardless of diabetes status. These data support the value of HbA1c as a marker of cardiovascular and renal disease in the general population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-151
PMCID: PMC3720537  PMID: 23865389
Glycated hemoglobin; Chronic kidney disease; Cardiovascular disease
20.  Personalized Prediction of Lifetime Benefits with Statin Therapy for Asymptomatic Individuals: A Modeling Study 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(12):e1001361.
In a modeling study conducted by Myriam Hunink and colleagues, a population-based cohort from Rotterdam is used to predict the possible lifetime benefits of statin therapy, on a personalized basis.
Background
Physicians need to inform asymptomatic individuals about personalized outcomes of statin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, current prediction models focus on short-term outcomes and ignore the competing risk of death due to other causes. We aimed to predict the potential lifetime benefits with statin therapy, taking into account competing risks.
Methods and Findings
A microsimulation model based on 5-y follow-up data from the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort of individuals aged 55 y and older living in the Ommoord district of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, was used to estimate lifetime outcomes with and without statin therapy. The model was validated in-sample using 10-y follow-up data. We used baseline variables and model output to construct (1) a web-based calculator for gains in total and CVD-free life expectancy and (2) color charts for comparing these gains to the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) charts. In 2,428 participants (mean age 67.7 y, 35.5% men), statin therapy increased total life expectancy by 0.3 y (SD 0.2) and CVD-free life expectancy by 0.7 y (SD 0.4). Age, sex, smoking, blood pressure, hypertension, lipids, diabetes, glucose, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and creatinine were included in the calculator. Gains in total and CVD-free life expectancy increased with blood pressure, unfavorable lipid levels, and body mass index after multivariable adjustment. Gains decreased considerably with advancing age, while SCORE 10-y CVD mortality risk increased with age. Twenty-five percent of participants with a low SCORE risk achieved equal or larger gains in CVD-free life expectancy than the median gain in participants with a high SCORE risk.
Conclusions
We developed tools to predict personalized increases in total and CVD-free life expectancy with statin therapy. The predicted gains we found are small. If the underlying model is validated in an independent cohort, the tools may be useful in discussing with patients their individual outcomes with statin therapy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects the heart and/or the blood vessels and is a major cause of illness and death worldwide. In the US, for example, coronary heart disease—a CVD in which narrowing of the heart's blood vessels by fatty deposits slows the blood supply to the heart and may eventually cause a heart attack—is the leading cause of death, and stroke—a CVD in which the brain's blood supply is interrupted—is the fourth leading cause of death. Established risk factors for CVD include smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and high blood levels of a fat called low-density lipoprotein (“bad cholesterol”). Because many of these risk factors can be modified by lifestyle changes and by drugs, CVD can be prevented. Thus, physicians can assess a healthy individual's risk of developing CVD using a CVD prediction model (equations that take into account the CVD risk factors to which the individual is exposed) and can then recommend lifestyle changes and medications to reduce that individual's CVD risk.
Why Was This Study Done?
Current guidelines recommend that asymptomatic (healthy) individuals whose likely CVD risk is high should be encouraged to take statins—cholesterol-lowering drugs—as a preventative measure. Statins help to prevent CVD in healthy people with a high predicted risk of CVD, but, like all medicines, they have some unwanted side effects, so it is important that physicians can communicate both the benefits and drawbacks of statins to their patients in a way that allows them to make an informed decision about taking these drugs. Telling a patient that statins will reduce his or her short-term risk of CVD is not always helpful—patients really need to know the potential lifetime benefits of statin therapy. That is, they need to know how much longer they might live if they take statins. Here, the researchers use a mathematical model to predict the personalized lifetime benefits (increased total and CVD-free life expectancy) of statin therapy for individuals without a history of CVD.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used the Rotterdam Ischemic Heart Disease & Stroke Computer Simulation (RISC) model, which simulates the life courses of individuals through six health states, from well through to CVD or non-CVD death, to estimate lifetime outcomes with and without statin therapy in a population of healthy elderly individuals. They then used these outcomes and information on baseline risk factors to develop a web-based calculator suitable for personalized prediction of the lifetime benefits of statins in routine clinical practice. The model estimated that statin therapy increases average life expectancy in the study population by 0.3 years and average CVD-free life expectancy by 0.7 years. The gains in total and CVD-free life expectancy associated with statin therapy increased with blood pressure, unfavorable cholesterol levels, and body mass index (an indicator of body fat) but decreased with age. Notably, the web-based calculator predicted that some individuals with a low ten-year CVD risk might achieve a similar or larger gain in CVD-free life expectancy with statin therapy than some individuals with a high ten-year risk. So, for example, both a 55-year-old non-smoking woman with a ten-year CVD mortality risk of 2% (a two in a hundred chance of dying of CVD within ten years) and a 65-year-old male smoker with a ten-year CVD mortality risk of 15% might both gain one year of CVD-free life expectancy with statin therapy.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that statin therapy can lead on average to small gains in total life expectancy and slightly larger gains in CVD-free life expectancy among healthy individuals, and show that life expectancy benefits can be predicted using an individual's risk factor profile. The accuracy and generalizability of these findings is limited by the assumptions included in the model (in particular, the model did not allow for the known side effects of statin therapy) and by the data fed into it—importantly, the risk prediction model needs to be validated using an independent dataset. If future research confirms the findings of this study, the researchers' web-based calculator could provide complementary information to the currently recommended ten-year CVD mortality risk assessment. Whether communication of personalized outcomes will ultimately result in better clinical outcomes remains to be seen, however, because patients may be less likely to choose statin therapy when provided with more information about its likely benefits.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001361.
The web-based calculator for personalized prediction of lifetime benefits with statin therapy is available (after agreement to software license)
The American Heart Association provides information about many types of cardiovascular disease for patients, carers, and professionals, including information about drug therapy for cholesterol and a heart attack risk calculator
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about cardiovascular disease and about statins
Information is available from the British Heart Foundation on heart disease and keeping the heart healthy; information is also available on statins, including personal stories about deciding to take statins
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute provides information on a wide range of cardiovascular diseases
The European Society of Cardiology's cardiovascular disease risk assessment model (SCORE) is available
MedlinePlus provides links to many other sources of information on heart diseases, vascular diseases, stroke, and statins (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001361
PMCID: PMC3531501  PMID: 23300388
21.  Metabolic syndrome and chronic kidney disease: Current status and future directions 
World Journal of Nephrology  2014;3(4):210-219.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a term used to denote a combination of selected, widely prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related risk factors. Despite the ambiguous definition of MetS, it has been clearly associated with chronic kidney disease markers including reduced glomerular filtration rate, proteinuria and/or microalbuminuria, and histopathological markers such as tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis. However, the etiological role of MetS in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is less clear. The relationship between MetS and CKD is complex and bidirectional, and so is best understood when CKD is viewed as a common progressive illness along the course of which MetS, another common disease, may intervene and contribute. Possible mechanisms of renal injury include insulin resistance and oxidative stress, increased proinflammatory cytokine production, increased connective tissue growth and profibrotic factor production, increased microvascular injury, and renal ischemia. MetS also portends a higher CVD risk at all stages of CKD from early renal insufficiency to end-stage renal disease. Clinical interventions for MetS in the presence of CKD should include a combination of weight reduction, appropriate dietary modification and increase physical activity, plus targeting of individual CVD-related risk factors such as dysglycemia, hypertension, and dyslipidemia while conforming to relevant national societal guidelines.
doi:10.5527/wjn.v3.i4.210
PMCID: PMC4220353  PMID: 25374814
Metabolic syndrome; Cardiovascular disease; Diabetes; Dialysis; Hyperlipidemia; Hypertension; Microalbuminuria; Obesity; Progression
22.  Prevalence and Awareness of CKD Among African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study 
Background
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) leads to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and is a growing epidemic throughout the world. In the United States, African Americans have an incidence of ESRD four times that of Whites.
Study Design
Cross Sectional to examine the prevalence and awareness of CKD in African Americans
Setting & Participants
Observational Cohort in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS)
Predictor
CKD was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2, presence of albuminuria, or being on dialysis
Outcomes and Measurements
Data from the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) were analyzed. Medical history including disease awareness and drug therapy, anthropometric measurements, serum, and urine samples were obtained from JHS participants at the baseline visit. Associations between CKD prevalence and awareness and selected demographic, socioeconomic, healthcare access, and disease status parameters were assessed utilizing logistic regression models.
Results
The prevalence of CKD in the JHS was 20%; CKD awareness was only 15.8%. Older participants had higher prevalence but were also more aware of CKD. Hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, increasing age and waist circumference as well as being single or less physically active were associated with CKD. Only advancing of CKD stage was associated with awareness.
Limitations
Cross-sectional assessment, single urine measurement
Conclusions
The JHS has a high prevalence and low awareness of CKD, especially those with less severe disease status. This emphasizes the need for earlier diagnosis and increased education of health care providers and the general population.
doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2008.08.035
PMCID: PMC2668959  PMID: 19166799
renal insufficiency; proteinuria; African American; chronic disease; epidemiology; population
23.  Mortality in Pharmacologically Treated Older Adults with Diabetes: The Cardiovascular Health Study, 1989–2001 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(10):e400.
Background
Diabetes mellitus (DM) confers an increased risk of mortality in young and middle-aged individuals and in women. It is uncertain, however, whether excess DM mortality continues beyond age 75 years, is related to type of hypoglycemic therapy, and whether women continue to be disproportionately affected by DM into older age.
Methods and Findings
From the Cardiovascular Health Study, a prospective study of 5,888 adults, we examined 5,372 participants aged 65 y or above without DM (91.2%), 322 with DM treated with oral hypoglycemic agents (OHGAs) (5.5%), and 194 with DM treated with insulin (3.3%). Participants were followed (1989–2001) for total, cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD), and non-CVD/noncancer mortality. Compared with non-DM participants, those treated with OHGAs or insulin had adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for total mortality of 1.33 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10 to 1.62) and 2.04 (95% CI, 1.62 to 2.57); CVD mortality, 1.99 (95% CI, 1.54 to 2.57) and 2.16 (95% CI, 1.54 to 3.03); CHD mortality, 2.47 (95% CI, 1.89 to 3.24) and 2.75 (95% CI, 1.95 to 3.87); and infectious and renal mortality, 1.35 (95% CI, 0.70 to 2.59) and 6.55 (95% CI, 4.18 to 10.26), respectively. The interaction of age (65–74 y versus ≥75 y) with DM was not significant. Women treated with OHGAs had a similar HR for total mortality to men, but a higher HR when treated with insulin.
Conclusions
DM mortality risk remains high among older adults in the current era of medical care. Mortality risk and type of mortality differ between OHGA and insulin treatment. Women treated with insulin therapy have an especially high mortality risk. Given the high absolute CVD mortality in older people, those with DM warrant aggressive CVD risk factor reduction.
The negative impact on mortality of diabetes persists into old age. Elderly people with diabetes might be twice as likely to die from CVD as people without diabetes. More aggressive treatment of CVD risk factors in older patients should be considered.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Diabetes is a growing global health problem. By 2030, 300 million people worldwide may have this chronic, incurable disorder, double the current number. People with diabetes have dangerously high amounts of sugar in their blood. Blood-sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas that tells cells to absorb sugar from the blood. This control fails in people with diabetes, either because they make no insulin (type 1 diabetes) or because their cells are insensitive to insulin (type 2 diabetes). Type 1 diabetes is controlled with insulin injections; type 2 diabetes is controlled with diet, exercise, and pills that reduce blood-sugar levels. Long-term complications of diabetes include kidney failure, blindness, and nerve damage. Individuals with diabetes also have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD)—heart problems, strokes, and poor circulation—because of damage to their blood vessels.
Why Was This Study Done?
Epidemiological studies (investigations of disease patterns, causes, and control in populations) have indicated that diabetes increases the risk of death (mortality) from CVD in young and middle-aged people, but it is not known whether this is also true for old people. It is also not known what effect long-term treatment for diabetes has on mortality or whether the risk of death from CVD is decreasing in diabetic people as it is in the general US population. This information would help physicians provide health care and lifestyle advice to people with diabetes. In this study, the researchers have investigated mortality patterns in elderly diabetic people by looking at data collected between 1989 and 2001 by the US Cardiovascular Health Study, an observational study of nearly 6,000 people aged over 65 years (in this type of study participants are observed without imposing any specific changes to their lifestyle, behavior, medical care, or treatments).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Participants were screened at the start of the Cardiovascular Health Study for CVD and diabetes (defined as drug-treated disease), for established CVD risk factors such as high blood pressure and smoking, for recently recognized CVD risk factors (for example, subclinical CVD), and for psychosocial factors associated with diabetes that might influence mortality, such as frailty and depression. At this time, about 5% of the participants were taking oral hypoglycemic agents for diabetes and about 3% were taking insulin. During the 11-year study, 40% of the participants died. After adjusting for CVD risk factors and psychosocial factors, the researchers calculated that people treated with oral hypoglycemic agents were 1.3 times as likely to die from all causes and people treated with insulin were twice as likely to die as people without diabetes. The risk of death from CVD was about twice as high in both groups of diabetic participants as in non-diabetic participants; the risk of death from coronary heart disease was increased about 2.5-fold. These adjusted relative risks are very similar to those found in previous studies. The researchers also report that participants treated with insulin were six times more likely to die from infectious diseases or renal failure than nondiabetic participants, and women treated with insulin had a particularly high mortality risk.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the negative impact on mortality of diabetes persists into old age and that death from CVD is currently declining in both older diabetic people and nondiabetic people. In addition, they show that diabetic people treated with insulin are at a greater risk of dying relative to people without diabetes and those taking oral hypoglycemic agents. This might reflect the type of diabetes that these people had, but this was not investigated. How long participants had had diabetes was also not considered, nor how many people developed diabetes during the study. These and other limitations might mean that the reported excess mortality due to diabetes is an underestimate. Nevertheless, the estimate that elderly people with diabetes are twice as likely to die from CVD as people without diabetes is important. Many elderly people die anyway because of CVD, so this increased risk represents many more deaths than the similar increased risk in younger diabetic populations. Yet, elderly people often receive less-intensive management of CVD risk factors than younger people. The results of this study suggest that rectifying this situation could prolong the lives of many elderly people with diabetes.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030400.
MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on diabetes, heart disease, stroke and poor circulation
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides patient information on diabetes
Information for patients on prevention, diagnosis, and management of diabetes is available from the America Diabetes Association
Patient information is available from the American Heart Association on all aspects of heart disease, including its association with diabetes
Wikipedia pages on diabetes and cardiovascular disease (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
Further information is available about the Cardiovascular Health Study
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030400
PMCID: PMC1609124  PMID: 17048978
24.  Hemoglobin A1c variability as an independent correlate of cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes: a cross-sectional analysis of the Renal Insufficiency and Cardiovascular Events (RIACE) Italian Multicenter Study 
Background
Previous reports have clearly indicated a significant relationship between hemoglobin (Hb) A1c change from one visit to the next and microvascular complications, especially nephropathy (albuminuria and albuminuric chronic kidney disease, CKD). In contrast, data on macrovascular disease are less clear. This study was aimed at examining the association of HbA1c variability with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the large cohort of subjects with type 2 diabetes from the Renal Insufficiency and Cardiovascular Events (RIACE) Italian Multicenter Study.
Methods
Serial (3–5) HbA1c values obtained during the 2-year period preceding recruitment, including that obtained at the enrolment, were available from 8,290 subjects from 9 centers (out of 15,773 patients from 19 centers). Average HbA1c and HbA1c variability were calculated as the intra-individual mean (HbA1c-MEAN) and standard deviation (HbA1c-SD), respectively, of 4.52±0.76 values. Prevalent CVD, total and by vascular bed, was assessed from medical history by recording previous documented major acute events. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) was assessed by dilated fundoscopy. CKD was defined based on albuminuria, as measured by immunonephelometry or immunoturbidimetry, and estimated glomerular filtration rate, as calculated from serum creatinine.
Results
HbA1c-MEAN, but not HbA1c-SD, was significantly higher (P<0.0001) in subjects with history of any CVD (n. 2,133, 25.7%) than in those without CVD (n. 6,157, 74.3%). Median and interquartile range were 7.78 (7.04-8.56) and 7.49 (6.81-8.31), respectively, for HbA1c-MEAN, and 0.47 (0.29-0.75) and 0.46 (0.28-0.73), respectively, for HbA1c-SD. Logistic regression analyses showed that HbA1c-MEAN, but not HbA1c-SD (and independent of it), was a significant correlate of any CVD. Similar findings were observed in subjects with versus those without any coronary or cerebrovascular event or myocardial infarction. Conversely, none of these measures were associated with stroke, whereas both correlated with any lower limb vascular event and HbA1c-SD alone with ulceration/gangrene. All these associations were independent of known CVD risk factors and microvascular complications (DR and CKD).
Conclusions
In patients with type 2 diabetes, HbA1c variability has not a major impact on macrovascular complications, at variance with average HbA1c, an opposite finding as compared with microvascular disease, and particularly nephropathy.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.Gov NCT00715481
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-98
PMCID: PMC3750360  PMID: 23829205
Chronic kidney disease; Retinopathy; Hemoglobin A1c; Risk factors; Type 2 diabetes
25.  Relationship of Estimated GFR and Coronary Artery Calcification in the (CRIC) Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study 
Background
Coronary artery calcification (CAC) is associated with increased mortality risk in the general population. Although individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at markedly increased mortality risk, the incidence, prevalence, and prognosis of CAC in CKD is not well-understood.
Study Design
Cross-sectional observational study.
Setting and Participants
Analysis of 1,908 participants who underwent coronary calcium scanning as part of the multi-ethnic CRIC (Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort) Study.
Predictor
Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) computed using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study equation, stratified by race, sex and diabetic status. eGFR was treated as a continous variable and a categorical variable compared to the reference range of >60 ml/min/1.73 m2
Measurements
CAC detected using CT scans using either an Imatron C-300 electron beam computed tomography scanner or multi-detector CT scanner. CAC was computed using the Agatston score, as a categorical variable. Analyses were performed using ordinal logistic regression.
Results
We found a strong and graded relationship between lower eGFR and increasing CAC. In unadjusted models, ORs increased from 1.68 (95% CI, 1.23–2.31) for eGFR from 50–59 to 2.82 (95% CI, 2.06–3.85) for eGFR of <30. Multivariable adjustment only partially attenuated the results (OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.07–2.20) for eGFR<30.
Limitations
Use of eGFR rather than measured GFR.
Conclusions
We demonstrated a graded relationship between severity of CKD and CAC, independent of traditional risk factors. These findings supports recent guidelines that state that if vascular calcification is present, it should be considered as a complementary component to be included in the decision making required for individualizing treatment of CKD.
doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2011.04.024
PMCID: PMC3183168  PMID: 21783289

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