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1.  Kidney Function and Mortality in Octogenarians: Cardiovascular Health Study All Stars 
To examine the association between kidney function and all-cause mortality in octogenarians.
Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.
Serum creatinine and cystatin C were measured in 1,053 Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) All Stars participants.
Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was determined using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration creatinine (eGFRCR) and cystatin C one-variable (eGFRCYS) equations. The association between quintiles of kidney function and all-cause mortality was analyzed using unadjusted and adjusted Cox proportional hazards models.
Mean age of the participants was 85, 64% were female, 66% had hypertension, 14% had diabetes mellitus, and 39% had prevalent cardiovascular disease. There were 154 deaths over a median follow-up of 2.6 years. The association between eGFRCR and all-cause mortality was U-shaped. In comparison with the reference quintile (64–75 mL/min per 1.73 m2), the highest (≥75 mL/min per 1.73 m2) and lowest (≤43 mL/min per 1.73 m2) quintiles of eGFRCR were independently associated with mortality (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.36–4.55; HR = 2.28, 95% CI = 1.26–4.10, respectively). The association between eGFRCYS and all-cause mortality was linear in those with eGFRCYS of less than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2, and in the multivariate analyses, the lowest quintile of eGFRCYS (<52 mL/min per 1.73 m2) was significantly associated with mortality (HR = 2.04, 95% CI = 1.12–3.71) compared with the highest quintile (>0.88 mL/min per 1.73 m2).
Moderate reduction in kidney function is a risk factor for all-cause mortality in octogenarians. The association between eGFRCR and all-cause mortality differed from that observed with eGFRCYS; the relationship was U-shaped for eGFRCR, whereas the risk was primarily present in the lowest quintile for eGFRCYS. J Am Geriatr Soc 2012.
PMCID: PMC3902776  PMID: 22724391
octogenarians; kidney function; mortality
2.  Urinary Kidney Injury Molecule 1 (KIM-1) and Interleukin 18 (IL-18) as Risk Markers for Heart Failure in Older Adults: The Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study 
Kidney damage and reduced kidney function are potent risk factors for heart failure (HF), but existing studies are limited to assessing albuminuria or estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). We evaluated the associations of urinary biomarkers of kidney tubular injury (interleukin 18 [IL-18] and kidney injury molecule 1 [KIM-1]) with future risk of HF.
Study Design
Retrospective cohort study.
Setting & Participants
2921 participants without HF in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) cohort.
Ratios of urine KIM-1, IL-18, and albumin to creatinine (KIM-1:Cr, IL-18:Cr, and ACR, respectively).
Incident HF over a median follow-up of 12 years.
Median values of each marker at baseline were 812 (IQR, 497–1235) pg/mg for KIM-1:Cr, 31 (IQR, 19–56) pg/mg for IL-18:Cr, and 8 (IQR, 5–19) mg/g for ACR. 596 persons developed HF during follow-up. The top quartile of KIM-1:Cr was associated with risk of incident HF after adjustment for baseline eGFR, HF risk factors, and ACR (HR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.02–1.70) in adjusted multivariate proportional hazards models. The top quartile of IL-18:Cr was also associated with HF in a model adjusted for risk factors and eGFR (HR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.05–1.73), but was attenuated by adjustment for ACR (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.89–1.48). The top quartile of ACR had a stronger adjusted association with HF (HR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.53–2.51).
Generalizability to other populations is uncertain.
Higher urine concentrations of KIM-1 were independently associated with incident HF risk, although the associations of higher ACR were of stronger magnitude.
PMCID: PMC4069223  PMID: 24656453
IL-18; KIM-1; cystatin C; heart failure; CKD; risk marker; cardiovascular disease (CVD); albuminuria; kidney tubular injury
3.  Race and Other Risk Factors for Incident Proteinuria in a National Cohort of HIV-infected Veterans 
Proteinuria in HIV-infected individuals has been associated with poorer outcomes. We examined risk factors associated with the development of proteinuria in a national registry of HIV-infected veterans.
21,129 HIV-infected veterans of black and white race without pre-existing kidney disease were receiving health care in the Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA) medical system between 1997 and 2011. Using the VHA electronic record system, we identified kidney-related risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease), and HIV-related risk factors (CD4 lymphocyte count, HIV RNA level, hepatitis C virus, and hepatitis B virus) for developing proteinuria. Proteinuria was defined by 2 consecutive dipstick measures of 1+ or higher. The Fine-Gray competing risk model was used to estimate association between clinical variables and incident proteinuria, while accounting for intervening mortality events.
During follow-up (median=5.3 years), 7,031 patients developed proteinuria. Overall, black race compared with white race was associated with a higher risk of proteinuria (HR[95% CI]=1.51[1.43–1.59]), but the association was stronger at younger ages (p interaction<0.001). Age-stratified risk of proteinuria for blacks relative to whites was greatest amongst veterans<30 years (2.19[1.66–2.89]) and the risk diminished with increasing age (1.14[0.97–1.34] for >60 years). We found the race difference to be stronger for the outcome of 2+ or higher proteinuria (2.13[1.89–2.39]). Both HIV-related and traditional risk factors were also associated with incident proteinuria (p<0.05).
Compared with whites, risk of proteinuria was higher in black veterans with HIV-infection, particularly at younger ages. In both races, HIV and kidney-related risk factors were associated with higher proteinuria risk.
PMCID: PMC4162813  PMID: 25072613
HIV; proteinuria; race
4.  A chronic kidney disease risk score to determine tenofovir safety in a prospective cohort of HIV-positive male veterans 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(9):1289-1295.
Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate is a widely used antiretroviral for HIV infection that has been associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Our objective was to derive a scoring system to predict 5-year risk of developing CKD in HIV-infected individuals and to estimate difference in risk associated with tenofovir use.
We evaluated time to first occurrence of CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2) in 21 590 HIV-infected men from the Veterans Health Administration initiating antiretroviral therapy from 1997 to 2010.
We developed a point-based score using multivariable Cox regression models. Median follow-up was 6.3 years, during which 2059 CKD events occurred.
Dominant contributors to the CKD risk score were traditional kidney risk factors (age, glucose, SBP, hypertension, triglycerides, proteinuria); CD4+ cell count was also a component, but not HIV RNA. The overall 5-year event rate was 7.7% in tenofovir users and 3.8% in nonusers [overall adjusted hazard ratio 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.8–2.2]. There was a progressive increase in 5-year CKD risk, ranging from less than 1% (zero points) to 16% (≥9 points) in nonusers of tenofovir, and from 1.4 to 21.4% among tenofovir users. The estimated number-needed-to-harm (NNH) for tenofovir use ranged from 108 for those with zero points to 20 for persons with at least nine points. Among tenofovir users with at least 1 year exposure, NNH ranged from 68 (zero points) to five (≥9 points).
The CKD risk score can be used to predict an HIV-infected individual’s absolute risk of developing CKD over 5 years and may facilitate clinical decision-making around tenofovir use.
PMCID: PMC4188545  PMID: 24922479
chronic kidney disease; HIV; risk score; tenofovir
5.  Update on Cystatin C: Incorporation Into Clinical Practice 
Kidney function monitoring using creatinine-based GFR estimation is a routine part of clinical practice. Emerging evidence has shown that cystatin C may improve classification of GFR for defining chronic kidney disease (CKD) in certain clinical populations, and assist in understanding the complications of CKD. In this review and update, we summarize the overall literature on cystatin C, critically evaluate recent high-impact studies, highlight the role of cystatin C in recent kidney disease guidelines, and suggest a practical approach for clinicians to incorporate cystatin C into practice. We conclude by addressing frequently asked questions related to implementing cystatin C use in a clinical setting.
PMCID: PMC3755100  PMID: 23701892
cystatin C; GFR estimation; chronic kidney disease
6.  Is Renal Function associated with Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration? 
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and chronic kidney disease both involve immune dysregulation and may share underlying pathophysiologic changes to systemic homeostasis. Hence we aim to evaluate associations between impaired kidney function and early AMD, in a search for urinary biomarkers for AMD.
A population-based, cross-sectional analysis of persons aged 45-84 years was conducted with renal function measured using serum creatinine and cystatin C levels and the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) calculated. AMD status was ascertained from retinal photographs.
Of 5,874 participants, 221 had early AMD. High serum cystatin C and low eGFR (≤60ml/min/1.73m2) were not associated with early AMD in our multivariate analyses. Among normotensive persons, however, highest versus other deciles of cystatin C were associated with an increased prevalence of early AMD (odds ratio 1.80, 95% confidence interval 1.00-3.23).
Results could not confirm an association between kidney function and early AMD. The borderline association between cystatin C and early AMD in normotensives require further verification.
PMCID: PMC4111798  PMID: 24879085
age-related macular degeneration; kidney; renal function
7.  Association of kidney disease measures with ischemic versus hemorrhagic strokes: Pooled analyses of 4 prospective community-based cohorts 
Background and purpose
Although low glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and albuminuria are associated with increased risk of stroke, few studies compared their contribution to risk of ischemic versus hemorrhagic stroke separately. We contrasted the association of these kidney measures with ischemic versus hemorrhagic stroke.
We pooled individual participant data from four community-based cohorts: three from the United States and one from The Netherlands. GFR was estimated by using both creatinine and cystatin C, and albuminuria was quantified by urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR). Associations of eGFR and ACR were compared for each stroke type (ischemic vs. intraparenchymal hemorrhagic) using study-stratified Cox-regression.
Amongst 29,595 participants (mean age 61 [SD 12.5] years, 46% males, 17% black), 1,261 developed stroke (12% hemorrhagic) during 280,549 person-years. Low eGFR was significantly associated with increased risk of ischemic, but not hemorrhagic, stroke risk, while high ACR was associated with both stroke types. Adjusted HRs for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke at eGFR of 45 (vs. 95) ml/min/1.73m2 were 1.30 (95% CI, 1.01–1.68) and 0.92 (0.47–1.81), respectively. In contrast, the corresponding HR for ACR 300 (vs. 5) mg/g were 1.62 (1.27–2.07) for ischemic and 2.57 (1.37–4.83) for hemorrhagic stroke, with significantly stronger association with hemorrhagic stroke (P =0.04). For hemorrhagic stroke, the association of elevated ACR was of similar magnitude as that of elevated systolic blood pressure.
Whereas albuminuria showed significant association with both stroke types, the association of decreased eGFR was only significant for ischemic stroke. The strong association of albuminuria with both stroke types warrants clinical attention and further investigations.
PMCID: PMC4517673  PMID: 24876078
8.  Sex differences in the prevalence and clinical outcomes of subclinical peripheral artery disease in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) study 
Vascular  2013;22(2):142-148.
The objective of the study was to determine if there are sex-based differences in the prevalence and clinical outcomes of subclinical peripheral artery disease (PAD). We evaluated the sex-specific associations of ankle–brachial index (ABI) with clinical cardiovascular disease outcomes in 2797 participants without prevalent clinical PAD and with a baseline ABI measurement in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition study. The mean age was 74 years, 40% were black, and 52% were women. Median follow-up was 9.37 years. Women had a similar prevalence of ABI < 0.9 (12% women versus 11% men; P=0.44), but a higher prevalence of ABI 0.9–1.0 (15% versus 10%, respectively; P < 0.001). In a fully adjusted model, ABI < 0,9 was significantly associated with higher coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality, incident clinical PAD and incident myocardial infarction in both women and men. ABI < 0.9 was significantly associated with incident stroke only in women. ABI 0.9–1.0 was significantly associated with CHD death in both women (hazard ratio 4.84, 1.53–15.31) and men (3.49, 1.39–8.721. However, ABI 0.9–1.0 was significantly associated with incident clinical PAD (3.33, 1.44–7.70) and incident stroke (2.45, 1.38–4.35) only in women. Subclinical PAD was strongly associated with adverse CV events in both women and men, but women had a higher prevalence of subclinical PAD.
PMCID: PMC4509626  PMID: 23512905
women; sex-specific; peripheral artery disease; epidemiology
9.  Kidney Function and Cognitive Health in Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2014;180(1):68-75.
Recent evidence has demonstrated the importance of kidney function in healthy aging. We examined the association between kidney function and change in cognitive function in 3,907 participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study who were recruited from 4 US communities and studied from 1992 to 1999. Kidney function was measured by cystatin C–based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFRcys). Cognitive function was assessed using the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination and the Digit Symbol Substitution Test, which were administered up to 7 times during annual visits. There was an association between eGFRcys and change in cognitive function after adjustment for confounders; persons with an eGFRcys of less than 60 mL/minute/1.73 m2 had a 0.64 (95% confidence interval: 0.51, 0.77) points/year faster decline in Modified Mini-Mental State Examination score and a 0.42 (95% confidence interval: 0.28, 0.56) points/year faster decline in Digit Symbol Substitution Test score compared with persons with an eGFRcys of 90 or more mL/minute/1.73 m2. Additional adjustment for intermediate cardiovascular events modestly affected these associations. Participants with an eGFRcys of less than 60 mL/minute/1.73 m2 had fewer cognitive impairment–free life-years on average compared with those with eGFRcys of 90 or more mL/minute/1.73 m2, independent of confounders and mediating cardiovascular events (mean difference = −0.44, 95% confidence interval: −0.62, −0.26). Older adults with lower kidney function are at higher risk of worsening cognitive function.
PMCID: PMC4070934  PMID: 24844846
aging; chronic kidney disease; cognitive function; congestive heart failure; myocardial infarction; prospective study; stroke; successful aging
Hypertension  2014;64(1):103-110.
Prior studies have demonstrated that elevated aldosterone concentrations are an independent risk factor for death in patients with cardiovascular disease. Limited studies, however, have evaluated systematically the association between serum aldosterone and adverse events in the setting of chronic kidney disease (CKD). We investigated the association between serum aldosterone and death and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in 3,866 participants from the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort. We also evaluated the association between aldosterone and incident congestive heart failure (CHF) and atherosclerotic events in participants without baseline cardiovascular disease. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate independent associations between elevated aldosterone concentrations and each outcome. Interactions were hypothesized and explored between aldosterone and sex, race, and the use of loop diuretics and RAAS inhibitors. Over a median follow-up period of 5.4 years, 587 participants died, 743 developed ESRD, 187 developed CHF, and 177 experienced an atherosclerotic event. Aldosterone concentrations (per standard deviation of the log transformed aldosterone) were not an independent risk factor for death (adjusted HR 1.00, 95% CI [0.93–1.12]), ESRD (adjusted HR 1.07, 95% CI [0.99–1.17]), or atherosclerotic events (adjusted HR 1.04, 95% CI [0.85–1.18]). Aldosterone was associated with CHF (adjusted HR 1.21, 95% CI [1.02–1.35]). Among participants with CKD, higher aldosterone concentrations were independently associated with the development of CHF, but not for death, ESRD, or atherosclerotic events. Further studies should evaluate whether mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists may reduce adverse events in individuals with CKD since elevated cortisol levels may activate the mineralocorticoid receptor.
PMCID: PMC4089190  PMID: 24752431
Aldosterone; Chronic kidney disease; Outcomes; Death; Congestive Heart Failure
11.  Serum albumin and short-term risk for mortality and cardiovascular disease among HIV-infected veterans 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(8):1339-1343.
We examined the short-term and long-term associations of serum albumin with mortality and cardiovascular disease among HIV-infected veterans.
Retrospective cohort analysis using a national database of US veterans with HIV infection.
This analysis evaluated all HIV-infected veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs HIV Clinical Case Registry (CCR), a national database consisting of demographic, clinical, laboratory, pharmaceutical, and viral status data. There were 25 522 patients enrolled between 1986 and 2007. We evaluated the associations of baseline and time-updated serum albumin levels with all-cause mortality, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and heart failure by multivariate proportional hazards models.
Over 21 years, there were 10 869 deaths; the cumulative mortality was 73.2 per 1000 person-years. After multivariate adjustment for covariates measured at baseline, the lowest category of serum albumin (<2.5 g/dl) was associated with a higher mortality risk compared with the highest category (>4 g/dl; hazard ratio 3.00; 2.67–3.37). When analyzed as a time-dependent model, the association strengthened substantially (15.1; 14.0–16.4). Findings were similar for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and heart failure. We stratified the baseline mortality model by year of follow-up and found that albumin was more strongly associated with deaths that occurred within 1 year of baseline (9.29; 7.85–11.0) than in the second (1.66; 1.18–2.33) or third (1.22; 0.77–1.96) year after measurement.
Among ambulatory HIV-infected patients, lower serum albumin levels are strongly predictive of mortality risk, particularly within 1 year.
PMCID: PMC4026018  PMID: 23343914
albumin; cardiovascular disease; end-stage renal disease; glomerular filtration rate; kidney
12.  Association of Perioperative Plasma Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin Levels with 3-Year Mortality after Cardiac Surgery: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0129619.
Higher levels of plasma neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (pNGAL) are an early marker of acute kidney injury and are associated with increased risk of short-term adverse outcomes. The independent association between pNGAL and long-term mortality is unknown.
In this prospective observational cohort study, we studied 1191 adults who underwent cardiac surgery between 2007 and 2009 at 6 centers in the TRIBE-AKI cohort. We measured the pNGAL on the pre-operative and first 3 post-operative days and assessed the relationship of peri-operative pNGAL concentrations with all-cause mortality.
During a median follow-up of 3.0 years, 139 participants died (50/1000 person-years). Pre-operative levels of pNGAL were associated with 3-year mortality (unadjusted HR 1.96, 95% CI 1.34,2.85) and the association persisted after adjustment for pre-operative variables including estimated glomerular filtration rate (adjusted HR 1.48, 95% CI 1.04–2.12). After adjustment for pre- and intra-operative variables, including pre-operative NGAL levels, the highest tertiles of first post-operative and peak post-operative pNGAL were also independently associated with 3-year mortality risk (adjusted HR 1.31, 95% CI 1.0–1.7 and adjusted HR 1.78, 95% CI 1.2–2.7, respectively). However, after adjustment for peri-operative changes in serum creatinine, there was no longer an independent association between the first post-operative and peak post-operative pNGAL and long-term mortality (adjusted HR 0.98,95% CI 0.79–1.2 for first pNGAL and adjusted HR 1.19, 95% CI 0.87–1.61 for peak pNGAL).
Pre-operative pNGAL levels were independently associated with 3-year mortality after cardiac surgery. While post-operative pNGAL levels were also associated with 3-year mortality, this relationship was not independent of changes in serum creatinine. These findings suggest that while pre-operative pNGAL adds prognostic value for mortality beyond routinely available serum creatinine, post-operative pNGAL measurements may not be as useful for this purpose.
PMCID: PMC4460181  PMID: 26053382
13.  Association between preoperative statin use and acute kidney injury biomarkers in cardiac surgery 
The Annals of thoracic surgery  2014;97(6):2081-2087.
Acute kidney injury is a serious complication of cardiac surgery for which there remains no specific therapy. Animal data and several observational studies suggest that statins prevent acute kidney injury, but the results are not conclusive, and many studies are retrospective in nature.
We conducted a multi-center prospective cohort study of 625 adult patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery. All patients were on statins and were grouped on whether statins were continued or held in the 24 hours prior to surgery. The primary outcome was acute kidney injury defined by a doubling of serum creatinine or dialysis. The secondary outcome was the peak level of several kidney injury biomarkers. Results were adjusted for demographic and clinical factors.
Continuing (vs. holding) a statin prior to surgery was not associated with a lower risk of acute kidney injury defined by a doubling of serum creatinine or dialysis, [adjusted relative risk (RR) 1.09 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.44, 2.70)]. However, continuing a statin was associated with a lower risk of elevation of the following AKI biomarkers: urine interleukin-18, urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, urine kidney injury molecule-1, and plasma neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin [adjusted RR 0.34 (95% CI 0.18, 0.62), adjusted RR 0.41 (95% CI 0.22, 0.76), adjusted RR 0.37 (95% CI 0.20, 0.76), adjusted RR 0.62 (95% CI 0.39, 0.98), respectively].
Statins may prevent kidney injury after cardiac surgery as evidenced by lower levels of kidney injury biomarkers.
PMCID: PMC4068122  PMID: 24725831
CABG; kidney; renal failure
14.  Comparisons of creatinine and cystatin C for detection of kidney disease and prediction of all-cause mortality in HIV-infected women 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(14):2291-2299.
Cystatin C could improve chronic kidney disease (CKD) classification in HIV-infected women relative to serum creatinine.
Retrospective cohort analysis.
Cystatin C and creatinine were measured from specimens taken and stored during the 1999–2000 exam among 908 HIV-infected participants in the Women’s Interagency HIV study (WIHS). Mean follow-up was 10.2 years. The associations of baseline categories (<60, 60–90, and >90 mL/min/1.73m2) of creatinine eGFR (eGFRcr), cystatin C eGFR (eGFRcys), and combined creatinine-cystatin C eGFR (eGFRcr-cys) with all-cause mortality were evaluated using multivariable Cox regression. The net reclassification index (NRI) was calculated to evaluate the effect of cystatin C on reclassification of CKD staging.
The prevalence of CKD (eGFR<60) at baseline was higher with eGFRcys (10.1%) compared to eGFRcr (6.7%, p=0.0006) and eGFRcr-cys (7.5%, p=0.011). Relative to eGFR >90, the eGFR <60 category by eGFRcys (Adjusted HR: 2.56; 95% CI: 1.63, 4.02), eGFRcr-cys (3.11; 1.94–5.00), and eGFRcr (2.34; 1.44–3.79) was associated with increased mortality risk. However, the eGFR 60–90 category was associated with increased mortality risk for eGFRcys (1.80; 1.28–2.53) and eGFRcr-cys (1.91; 1.38–2.66) but not eGFRcr (1.20; 0.85–1.67). The overall NRI for mortality was 26% when reclassifying from eGFRcr to eGFRcys (p<0.001) and was 20% when reclassifying from eGFRcr to eGFRcr-cys (p<0.001).
Cystatin C detected a higher prevalence of CKD relative to creatinine and improves CKD staging relative to creatinine by reclassifying individuals at the highest mortality risk to lower eGFR categories.
PMCID: PMC3919542  PMID: 23669156
Creatinine; Cystatin C; Glomerular Filtration Rate; HIV; Mortality; Kidney; Women
15.  Cardiovascular risks associated with abacavir and tenofovir exposure in HIV-infected persons 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(10):1289-1298.
Abacavir use has been associated with cardiovascular risk, but it is unknown whether this association may be partly explained by patients with kidney disease being preferentially treated with abacavir to avoid tenofovir. Our objective was to compare associations of abacavir and tenofovir with cardiovascular risks in HIV-infected veterans.
Cohort study of 10 931 HIV-infected patients initiating antiretroviral therapy in the Veterans Health Administration from 1997 to 2007, using proportional hazards survival regression.
Primary predictors were exposure to abacavir or tenofovir within the past 6 months, compared with no exposure to these drugs, respectively. Outcomes were time to first atherosclerotic cardiovascular event, defined as coronary, cerebrovascular, or peripheral arterial disease; and time to incident heart failure.
Over 60 588 person-years of observation, there were 501 cardiovascular and 194 heart failure events. Age-standardized event rates among abacavir and tenofovir users were 12.5 versus 8.2 per 1000 person-years for cardiovascular disease, and 3.9 and 3.7 per 1000 person-years for heart failure, respectively. In multivariate-adjusted models, including time-updated measurements of kidney function, recent abacavir use was significantly associated with incident cardiovascular disease [hazard ratio 1.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08–2.04]; the association was similar but nonsignificant for heart failure (1.45, 0.85–2.47). In contrast, recent tenofovir use was significantly associated with heart failure (1.82, 1.02–3.24), but not with cardiovascular events (0.78, 0.52–1.16).
Recent abacavir exposure was independently associated with increased risk for cardiovascular events. We also observed an association between recent tenofovir exposure and heart failure, which needs to be confirmed in future studies.
PMCID: PMC3910369  PMID: 21516027
antiretroviral therapy; cardiovascular disease; heart failure; HIV
16.  Urinary Biomarkers of Kidney Injury Are Associated with All-Cause Mortality in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) 
HIV medicine  2013;15(5):291-300.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is common in HIV; CKD is associated with mortality. Urinary markers of tubular injury have been associated with future kidney disease risk, but associations with mortality are unknown.
We evaluated the association of urinary interleukin-18(IL-18), liver fatty acid binding protein(L-FABP), kidney injury molecule-1(KIM-1), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin(NGAL), albumin-to-creatinine ratio(ACR) with 10-year, all-cause death in 908 HIV-infected women. Kidney function was estimated using cystatin C (eGFRcys).
There were 201 deaths during 9,269 person-years of follow-up. After demographic adjustment, compared to the lowest tertile, highest tertiles of IL-18 (HR 2.54,95%CI 1.75–3.68), KIM-1 (2.04,1.44–2.89), NGAL(1.50,1.05–2.14), and ACR(1.63,1.13–2.36) were associated with higher mortality. After multivariable adjustment including eGFRcys, only the highest tertiles of IL-18, (1.88,1.29–2.74) and ACR (1.46,1.01–2.12) remained independently associated with mortality. Findings with KIM-1 were borderline (1.41, 0.99–2.02). We found a J-shaped association between L-FABP and mortality. Compared to persons in the lowest tertile, HR for middle tertile of L-FABP was 0.67 (0.46–0.98) after adjustment. Findings were stronger when IL-18, ACR and L-FABP were simultaneously included in models.
Among HIV-infected women, some urinary markers of tubular injury are associated with mortality risk, independently of eGFRcys and ACR. These markers represent potential tools to identify early kidney injury in persons with HIV.
PMCID: PMC3975680  PMID: 24313986
HIV; IL-18; KIM-1; L-FABP; NGAL; urinary biomarkers
17.  The association between body composition and cystatin C in South Asians: Results from the MASALA study 
While South Asians have high rates of obesity and kidney disease, little is known about the effect of regional body composition on kidney function. We investigated the association between body composition measures and cystatin C-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFRcysC) in 150 immigrant South Asians. The inverse association between overall adiposity and eGFRcysC was attenuated by C-reactive protein (CRP), while the association of ectopic fat was completely attenuated by metabolic covariates and CRP. In immigrant South Asians, the associations between overall adiposity and ectopic fat with decreased kidney function are largely explained by metabolic alterations and inflammation.
PMCID: PMC4404210  PMID: 25465493
Body composition; Ectopic fat; Cystatin C; South Asian
18.  Urinary Markers of Kidney Injury and Kidney Function Decline in HIV-Infected Women 
HIV-infected persons have substantially higher risk of kidney failure than persons without HIV, but serum creatinine levels are insensitive for detecting declining kidney function. We hypothesized that urine markers of kidney injury would be associated with declining kidney function among HIV-infected women.
In the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), we measured concentrations of albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR), interleukin-18 (IL-18), kidney injury marker-1 (KIM-1), and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) from stored urine among 908 HIV-infected and 289 uninfected participants. Primary analyses used cystatin C based estimated glomerular filtration rate (CKD-EPI eGFRcys) as the outcome, measured at baseline and two follow-up visits over eight years; secondary analyses used creatinine (CKD-EPI eGFRcr). Each urine biomarker was categorized into tertiles, and kidney decline was modeled with both continuous and dichotomized outcomes.
Compared with the lowest tertiles, the highest tertiles of ACR (−0.15ml/min/1.73m2, p<0.0001), IL-18 (−0.09ml/min/1.73m2, p<0.0001) and KIM-1 (−0.06ml/min/1.73m2, p<0.001) were independently associated with faster eGFRcys decline after multivariate adjustment including all three biomarkers among HIV-infected women. Among these biomarkers, only IL-18 was associated with each dichotomized eGFRcys outcome: ≥3% (Relative Risk 1.40; 95%CI 1.04-1.89); ≥5% (1.88; 1.30-2.71); and ≥10% (2.16; 1.20-3.88) for the highest versus lowest tertile. In alternative models using eGFRcr, the high tertile of KIM-1 had independent associations with 5% (1.71; 1.25-2.33) and 10% (1.78; 1.07-2.96) decline, and the high IL-18 tertile with 10% decline (1.97; 1.00-3.87).
Among HIV-infected women in the WIHS cohort, novel urine markers of kidney injury detect risk for subsequent declines in kidney function.
PMCID: PMC3509242  PMID: 23023103
HIV; KIM-1; NGAL; IL-18; albumin-to-creatinine ratio; cystatin C; kidney injury
19.  Body Mass Index and Early Kidney Function Decline in Young Adults: A Longitudinal Analysis of the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) Study 
Identifying potentially modifiable risk factors is critically important for reducing the burden of chronic kidney disease. We sought to examine the association of body mass index (BMI) with kidney function decline in a cohort of young adults with preserved glomerular filtration at baseline.
Study Design
Longitudinal cohort.
Setting & Participants
2,891 black and white young adults with cystatin C-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFRcys) >90 ml/min/1.73 m2 taking part in the year-10 examination (in 1995–1996) of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study.
BMI, categorized as 18.5–24.9 (reference), 25.0–29.9. 30.0–39.9, and ≥40.0 kg/m2.
Trajectory of kidney function decline, rapid decline (>3% per year), and incident eGFRcys <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 over 10 years of follow-up.
GFRcys estimated from the CKD-EPI (Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration) equation for calibrated cystatin C at CARDIA years 10, 15, and 20.
At year 10, participants had a mean age of 35.1 years, median eGFRcys of 114 ml/min/1.73 m2, and 24.5% had BMI ≥30.0 kg/m2. After age 30 years, average eGFRcys was progressively lower with each increment of BMI after adjustment for baseline age, race, sex, hyperlipidemia, smoking status, and physical activity. Higher BMI category was associated with successively higher odds of rapid decline (for 25.0–29.9, 30.0–39.9, and ≥40.0 kg/m2, the adjusted ORs were 1.50 [95% CI, 1.21–1.87], 2.01 [95% CI, 1.57–2.87], and 2.57 [95% CI, 1.67–3.94], respectively). Eighteen participants (0.6%) had incident eGFRcys <60 ml/min/1.73 m2. In unadjusted analysis, higher BMI category was associated with incident eGFRcys <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (for 25.0–29.9, 30.0–39.9, and ≥40.0 kg/m2, the ORs were 5.17 [95% CI, 1.10–25.38], 7.44 [95% CI, 1.54–35.95], and 5.55 [95% CI, 0.50–61.81], respectively); adjusted associations were no longer significant.
Inability to describe kidney function before differences by BMI category were already evident. Absence of data on measured GFR or GFR estimated from serum creatinine.
Higher BMI categories are associated with greater declines in kidney function among a cohort of young adults with preserved GFR at baseline. Clinicians should vigilantly monitor overweight and obese patients for evidence of early kidney function decline.
PMCID: PMC3969447  PMID: 24295611
20.  Fibroblast Growth Factor 23, the Ankle-Brachial Index, and Incident Peripheral Artery Disease in the Cardiovascular Health Study 
Atherosclerosis  2014;233(1):91-96.
Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) has emerged as a novel risk factor for mortality and cardiovascular events. Its association with the ankle-brachial index (ABI) and clinical peripheral artery disease (PAD) is less known.
Using data (N=3,143) from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), a cohort of community dwelling adults > 65 years of age, we analyzed the cross sectional association of FGF23 with ABI and its association with incident clinical PAD events during 9.8 years of follow up using multinomial logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models respectively.
The prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and traditional risk factors like diabetes, coronary artery disease, and heart failure increased across higher quartiles of FGF23. Compared to those with ABI of 1.1–1.4, FGF23 at baseline was associated with prevalent PAD (ABI<0.9) although this association was attenuated after adjusting for CVD risk factors, and kidney function (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.76–1.08). FGF23 was not associated with high ABI (>1.4) (OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.75–1.51). Higher FGF23 was associated with incidence of PAD events in unadjusted, demographic adjusted, and CVD risk factor adjusted models (HR 2.26, 95% CI 1.28–3.98; highest versus lowest quartile). The addition of estimated glomerular filtration and urine albumin to creatinine ratio to the model however, attenuated these findings (HR 1.46, 95% CI, 0.79–2.70).
In community dwelling older adults, FGF23 was not associated with baseline low or high ABI or incident PAD events after adjusting for confounding variables. These results suggest that FGF23 may primarily be associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes through non atherosclerotic mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3927151  PMID: 24529128
Fibroblast growth factor; peripheral artery disease; ankle-brachial index; chronic kidney disease; cardiovascular disease
21.  Association of Tenofovir Exposure with Kidney Disease Risk in HIV Infection 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(7):867-875.
Despite widespread highly active antiretroviral therapy use, HIV disease remains associated with increased risk of kidney disease. Whether tenofovir use is associated with higher risk of kidney disease is controversial.
We evaluated the association of cumulative and ever exposure to tenofovir on kidney outcomes in 10,841 HIV-infected patients from the Veterans Health Administration who initiated antiretroviral therapy from 1997-2007.
Cox proportional hazards and marginal structural models evaluated associations between tenofovir and time to first occurrence of 1) proteinuria (two consecutive urine dipstick measurements ≥30mg/dL), 2) rapid decline in kidney function (≥3ml/min/1.73m2 annual decline), and 3) CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate <60ml/min/1.73m2).
Median follow-up ranged from 3.9 years (proteinuria) to 5.5 years (CKD), during which 3400 proteinuria, 3078 rapid decline, and 533 CKD events occurred. After multivariable adjustment, each year of exposure to tenofovir was associated with 34% increased risk of proteinuria (95%CI 25-45%, p<0.0001), 11% increased risk of rapid decline (3-18%, p=0.0033), and 33% increased risk of CKD (18-51%; p<0.0001). Pre-existing renal risk factors did not appear to worsen the effects of tenofovir. Other ARVs showed weaker or inconsistent associations with kidney disease events. Among those who discontinued tenofovir use, risk of kidney disease events did not appear to decrease during follow-up.
Tenofovir exposure was independently associated with increased risk for three types of kidney disease events, and did not appear to be reversible. Because subtle kidney function decline affects long-term morbidity and mortality, the balance between efficacy and probable adverse effects requires further study.
PMCID: PMC3736566  PMID: 22313955
HIV; antiretroviral therapy; kidney disease; tenofovir
22.  Incidence and Risk Factors for Acute Kidney Injury in HIV Infection 
American Journal of Nephrology  2012;35(4):327-334.
Although HIV-infected persons are at higher risk for acute kidney injury (AKI) during hospitalization compared with their uninfected counterparts, risk factors for AKI are not well-defined. We aimed to describe the evolving incidence of AKI among HIV-infected individuals and to identify important AKI risk factors.
We conducted a prospective cohort study of 56,823 HIV-infected persons in the Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Case Registry. Outcomes were: AKI (acute in-hospital serum creatinine increase of ≥0.3 mg/dl, or a relative increase by 50% or greater), and dialysis-requiring AKI. We used proportional hazards regressions to identify risk factors.
From its peak in 1995 at 62 per 1,000 person-years, the incidence of AKI declined after the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in 1996 to a low point of 25 per 1,000 person-years in 2006. Incidence of dialysis-requiring AKI declined in the early 1990s, but doubled between 2000 and 2006. Using multivariate proportional hazard regression, we identified the following strong risk factors for AKI: chronic kidney disease (eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2) (5.38, 95% CI: 5.11–5.67), proteinuria (1.78, 1.70–1.87), low serum albumin (<3.7 mg/dl) (5.24, 4.82–5.71), low body mass index (<18.5 kg/m2) (1.69, 1.54–1.86), cardiovascular disease (1.77, 1.66–1.89), low CD4 count (<200 cells/mm3) (2.54, 2.33–2.77), and high viral load (≥100,000 copies/ml) (2.51, 2.28–2.75). In addition, there was substantial heterogeneity in the strengths of risk factors for dialysis-requiring AKI before and after the introduction of HAART.
Although AKI incidence has decreased during the HAART era, it remains common in HIV-infected persons and appears attributable to both kidney- and HIV-related factors.
PMCID: PMC3362304  PMID: 22456100
Acute kidney injury; HIV; Chronic kidney disease; Proteinuria; Hypoalbuminemia
23.  Common Clinical Conditions – Age, Low BMI, Ritonavir Use, Mild Renal Impairment - Affect Tenofovir Pharmacokinetics in a Large Cohort of HIV-Infected Women 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(1):59-66.
Tenofovir is used commonly in HIV treatment and prevention settings, but factors that correlate with tenofovir exposure in real-world setting are unknown.
Intensive pharmacokinetic (PK) studies of tenofovir in a large, diverse cohort of HIV-infected women over 24-hours at steady-state were performed and factors that influenced exposure (assessed by areas-under-the-time-concentration curves, AUCs) identified
HIV-infected women (n=101) on tenofovir-based therapy underwent intensive 24-hour PK sampling. Data on race/ethnicity, age, exogenous steroid use, menstrual cycle phase, concomitant medications, recreational drugs and/or tobacco, hepatic and renal function, weight and body mass index (BMI) were collected. Multivariable models using forward stepwise selection identified factors associated with effects on AUC. Glomerular filtration rates (GFR) prior to starting tenofovir were estimated by the CKD-EPI equation using both creatinine and cystatin-C measures
The median (range) of tenofovir AUCs was 3350 (1031–13,911) ng x h/mL. Higher AUCs were associated with concomitant ritonavir use (1.33-fold increase, p 0.002), increasing age (1.21-fold increase per decade, p=0.0007) and decreasing BMI (1.04-fold increase per 10% decrease in BMI). When GFR was calculated using cystatin-C measures, mild renal insufficiency prior to tenofovir initiation was associated with higher subsequent exposure (1.35-fold increase when pre-tenofovir GFR <70mL/min, p=0.0075).
Concomitant ritonavir use, increasing age, decreasing BMI and lower GFR prior to tenofovir initiation as estimated by cystatin C were all associated with elevated tenofovir exposure in a diverse cohort of HIV-infected women. Clinicians treating HIV-infected women should be aware of common clinical conditions that affect tenofovir exposure when prescribing this medication.
PMCID: PMC3956315  PMID: 24275255
Tenofovir; pharmacokinetics; HIV-infected women; diverse populations; GFR; cystatin C
24.  Association of a Cystatin C Gene Variant With Cystatin C Levels, CKD, and Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality 
Carriers of the T allele of the single-nucleotide polymorphism rs13038305 tend to have lower cystatin C levels and higher cystatin C-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFRcys). Adjusting for this genetic effect on cystatin C concentrations may improve GFR estimation, reclassify cases of CKD, and strengthen risk estimates for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality.
Study Design
Setting & Population
Four population-based cohorts: Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC), Cardiovascular Health (CHS), Framingham Heart (FHS), and Health, Aging, and Body Compostion (Health ABC) studies.
We estimated the association of rs13038305 with eGFRcys and eGFRcr, and performed longitudinal analyses of the associations of eGFRcys with mortality and cardiovascular events following adjustment for rs13038305.
We assessed reclassification by genotype-adjusted eGFRcys across CKD categories: <45, 45–59, 60–89, and ≥90 mL/min/1.73 m2. We compared mortality and CVD outcomes in those reclassified to a worse eGFRcys category with those unaffected. Results were combined using fixed-effect inverse-variance meta-analysis.
In 14,645 participants, each copy of the T allele of rs13038305 (frequency, 21%), was associated with 6.4% lower cystatin C concentration, 5.5 mL/min/1.73 m2 higher eGFRcys, and 36% [95% CI, 29%–41%] lower odds of CKD. Associations with CVD (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.14–1.20) and mortality (HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.19–1.24) per 10- ml/min/1.73 m2 lower eGFRcys were similar with or without rs13038305 adjustment. In total, 1134 participants (7.7%) were reclassified to a worse CKD category following rs13038305 adjustment, and rates of CVD and mortality were higher in individuals who were reclassified. However, the overall net reclassification index was not significant for either outcome, at 0.009 (95% CI, −0.003 to 0.022) for mortality and 0.014 (95% CI, 0.0 to 0.028) for CVD.
rs13038305 only explains a small proportion of cystatin C variation.
Statistical adjustment can correct a genetic bias in GFR estimates based on cystatin C in carriers of the T allele of rs13038305 and result in changes in disease classification. However, on a population level, the effects on overall reclassification of CKD status are modest.
PMCID: PMC3872167  PMID: 23932088
Cystatin C; chronic kidney disease; genetics; single nucleotide polymorphism; net reclassification improvement
25.  HIV/HCV coinfection ameliorates the atherogenic lipoprotein abnormalities of HIV infection 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(1):49-58.
Higher levels of small low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) subclasses have been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The extent to which HIV infection and HIV/HCV coinfection are associated with abnormalities of lipoprotein subclasses is unknown.
Lipoprotein subclasses were measured by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy in plasma samples from 569 HIV-infected and 5948 control participants in the FRAM, CARDIA and MESA studies. Multivariable regression was used to estimate the association of HIV and HIV/HCV coinfection with lipoprotein measures with adjustment for demographics, lifestyle factors, and waist-to-hip ratio.
Relative to controls, small LDL levels were higher in HIV-monoinfected persons (+381 nmol/L, p<.0001), with no increase seen in HIV/HCV coinfection (−16.6 nmol/L). Levels of large LDL levels were lower (−196 nmol/L, p<.0001) and small HDL were higher (+8.2 μmol/L, p<.0001) in HIV-monoinfection with intermediate values seen in HIV/HCV-coinfection. Large HDL levels were higher in HIV/HCV-coinfected persons relative to controls (+1.70 μmol/L, p<.0001), whereas little difference was seen in HIV-monoinfected persons (+0.33, p=0.075). Within HIV-infected participants, HCV was associated independently with lower levels of small LDL (−329 nmol/L, p<.0001) and small HDL (−4.6 μmol/L, p<.0001), even after adjusting for demographic and traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
HIV-monoinfected participants had worse levels of atherogenic LDL lipoprotein subclasses compared with controls. HIV/HCV coinfection attenuates these changes, perhaps by altering hepatic factors affecting lipoprotein production and/or metabolism. The effect of HIV/HCV coinfection on atherosclerosis and the clinical consequences of low small subclasses remain to be determined.
PMCID: PMC4267724  PMID: 24136113
HIV infection; HCV infection; lipoproteins; cardiovascular disease

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