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1.  Hypertension and Low HDL-Cholesterol were Associated with Reduced Kidney Function Across the Age Spectrum: A Collaborative Study 
Annals of epidemiology  2013;23(3):106-111.
Purpose
To determine if the associations among established risk factors and reduced kidney function vary by age.
Methods
We pooled cross-sectional data from 14,788 non-diabetics aged 40–100 years in 4 studies: Cardiovascular Health Study, Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study, Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, and Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-Stage Disease cohort.
Results
Hypertension and low HDL-cholesterol were associated with reduced cystatin C-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) across the age spectrum. In adjusted analyses, hypertension was associated with a 2.3 (95% CI 0.1, 4.4), 5.1 (4.1, 6.1), and 6.9 (3.0, 10.4) mL/min/1.73 m2 lower eGFR in participants 40–59, 60–79, and 80+ years, respectively (p-value for interaction <0.001). The association of low HDL-cholesterol with reduced kidney function was also greater in the older age groups: 4.9 (3.5, 6.3), 7.1 (CI 6.0, 8.3), 8.9 (CI 5.4, 11.9) mL/min/1.73 m2 (p-value for interaction <0.001). Smoking and obesity were associated with reduced kidney function in participants under 80 years. All estimates of the potential population impact of the risk factors were modest.
Conclusions
Hypertension, obesity, smoking, and low HDL-cholesterol are modestly associated with reduced kidney function in non-diabetics. The associations of hypertension and HDL-cholesterol with reduced kidney function appear stronger in older adults.
doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2012.12.004
PMCID: PMC3570601  PMID: 23313266
Chronic kidney insufficiency; aged; hypertension; cholesterol; obesity; smoking
2.  Kidney Function and Mortality in Octogenarians: Cardiovascular Health Study All Stars 
OBJECTIVES:
To examine the association between kidney function and all-cause mortality in octogenarians.
DESIGN:
Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.
SETTING:
Community.
PARTICIPANTS:
Serum creatinine and cystatin C were measured in 1,053 Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) All Stars participants.
MEASUREMENTS:
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.
RESULTS:
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).
CONCLUSION:
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.
doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04046.x
PMCID: PMC3902776  PMID: 22724391
octogenarians; kidney function; mortality
3.  Health Benefits of Reducing Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake in High Risk Populations of California: Results from the Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Policy Model 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81723.
Background
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) has risen over the past two decades, with over 10 million Californians drinking one or more SSB per day. High SSB intake is associated with risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and coronary heart disease (CHD). Reduction of SSB intake and the potential impact on health outcomes in California and among racial, ethnic, and low-income sub-groups has not been quantified.
Methods
We projected the impact of reduced SSB consumption on health outcomes among all Californians and California subpopulations from 2013 to 2022. We used the CVD Policy Model – CA, an established computer simulation of diabetes and heart disease adapted to California. We modeled a reduction in SSB intake by 10–20% as has been projected to result from proposed penny-per-ounce excise tax on SSB and modeled varying effects of this reduction on health parameters including body mass index, blood pressure, and diabetes risk. We projected avoided cases of diabetes and CHD, and associated health care cost savings in 2012 US dollars.
Results
Over the next decade, a 10–20% SSB consumption reduction is projected to result in a 1.8–3.4% decline in the new cases of diabetes and an additional drop of 0.5–1% in incident CHD cases and 0.5–0.9% in total myocardial infarctions. The greatest reductions are expected in African Americans, Mexican Americans, and those with limited income regardless of race and ethnicity. This reduction in SSB consumption is projected to yield $320–620 million in medical cost savings associated with diabetes cases averted and an additional savings of $14–27 million in diabetes-related CHD costs avoided.
Conclusions
A reduction of SSB consumption could yield substantial population health benefits and cost savings for California. In particular, racial, ethnic, and low-income subgroups of California could reap the greatest health benefits.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081723
PMCID: PMC3859539  PMID: 24349119
5.  The Association of Blood Pressure and Mortality Differs by Self-reported Walking Speed in Older Latinos 
Background.
In some older adults, higher blood pressure (BP) is associated with a lower risk of mortality. We hypothesized that higher BP would be associated with greater mortality in high-functioning elders and lower mortality in elders with lower functional status.
Methods.
Participants were 1,562 Latino adults aged 60–101 years in the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging. Functional status was measured by self-reported walking speed, and BP was measured by automatic sphygmomanometer. Death information was determined from vital statistics records.
Results.
There were 442 deaths from 1998 to 2010; 53% were cardiovascular. Mean BP levels (mmHg) varied across fast, medium, and slow walkers: 136, 139, and 140 mmHg (systolic), p = .02 and 75, 76, and 77 mmHg (diastolic), p = .08, respectively. The relationship between systolic BP and mortality varied by self-reported walking speed: The adjusted hazard ratio for mortality in slow walkers was 0.96 per 10 mmHg higher systolic BP (95% confidence interval: 0.89, 1.02) and 1.29 (95% confidence interval: 1.08, 1.55) in fast walkers (p value for interaction <.001). We found a similar pattern for diastolic BP, although the interaction did not reach statistical significance; the adjusted hazard ratio per 10 mmHg higher diastolic BP was 0.89 (95% confidence interval: 0.78, 1.02) in slow walkers and 1.20 (95% confidence interval: 0.82, 1.76) in fast walkers (p value for interaction = .06).
Conclusions.
In high-functioning older adults, elevated systolic BP is a risk factor for all-cause mortality. If confirmed in other studies, the assessment of functional status may help to identify persons who are most at-risk for adverse outcomes related to high BP.
doi:10.1093/gerona/glr245
PMCID: PMC3436088  PMID: 22389463
Blood pressure; Functional status; Latinos
6.  Rethinking the Association of High Blood Pressure with Mortality in Elderly Adults: The Impact of Frailty 
Archives of internal medicine  2012;172(15):1162-1168.
Background
The association of hypertension and mortality is attenuated in elderly adults. Walking speed, as a measure of frailty, may identify which elders are most at risk for the adverse effects of hypertension. We hypothesized that elevated blood pressure (BP) would be associated with a greater risk of mortality in faster, but not slower, walking older adults.
Methods
Participants included 2,340 persons ≥65 years in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2000 and 2001–2002. Mortality data was linked to death certificates in the National Death Index. Walking speed was measured over a 20-foot walk and classified as faster (≥ 0.8 meters/second, n=1,307), slower (n=790), or incomplete (n=243). Potential confounders included age, sex, race, survey year, lifestyle and physiologic variables, health conditions, and antihypertensive medications.
Results
There were 589 deaths through December 31st, 2006. The association of BP and mortality varied by walking speed. Among faster walkers, those with elevated systolic BP (≥140 mmHg) had a greater adjusted risk of mortality compared to those without (Hazard Ratio (HR): 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03, 1.77). Among slower walkers, neither elevated systolic nor diastolic BP (≥90 mmHg) was associated with mortality. In participants who did not complete the walk test, elevated BP was strongly and independently associated with a lower risk of death: HR: 0.38, 95% CI: 0.23, 0.62 (systolic) and HR: 0.10, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.81 (diastolic).
Conclusions
Walking speed could be a simple measure to identify elderly adults who are most at risk for adverse outcomes related to high BP.
doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.2555
PMCID: PMC3537835  PMID: 22801930
7.  Serum Creatinine and Functional Limitation in Elderly Persons 
Background
Creatinine is a commonly used measure of kidney function, but serum levels are also influenced by muscle mass. We hypothesized that higher serum creatinine would be associated with self-reported functional limitation in community-dwelling elderly.
Methods
Subjects (n = 1,553) were participants in the Study of Physical Performance and Age-Related Changes in Sonomans, a cohort to study aging and physical function. We explored three strategies to account for the effects of muscle mass on serum creatinine.
Results
We observed a J-shaped association of creatinine with functional limitation. Above the study-specific mean creatinine (0.97 mg/dL in women and 1.15 mg/dL in men), the unadjusted odds ratio of functional limitation per standard deviation (0.20 mg/dL in women and 0.23 mg/dL in men) higher creatinine was 2.27 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.75–2.94, p < .001) in women and 1.42 (95% CI 1.12–1.80, p = .003) in men. This association was inverted in persons with creatinine levels below the mean. Adjustment for muscle mass did not have an important effect on the association between creatinine and functional limitation. These associations remained after multivariable adjustment for demographics and health conditions but were statistically significant only in women.
Conclusions
In elderly adults, higher creatinine levels are associated with functional limitation, consistent with prior literature that has demonstrated reduced physical performance in persons with kidney disease. However, the association of low creatinine levels with functional limitation suggests that creatinine levels are influenced by factors other than kidney function and muscle mass in the elderly.
doi:10.1093/gerona/gln037
PMCID: PMC2655007  PMID: 19181716
Aging; Creatinine; Kidney disease; Mobility limiation
8.  Antihypertensive Medication Use and Change in Kidney Function in Elderly Adults: A Marginal Structural Model Analysis 
Background:
The evidence for the effectiveness of antihypertensive medication use for slowing decline in kidney function in older persons is sparse. We addressed this research question by the application of novel methods in a marginal structural model.
Methods:
Change in kidney function was measured by two or more measures of cystatin C in 1,576 hypertensive participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study over 7 years of follow-up (1989–1997 in four U.S. communities). The exposure of interest was antihypertensive medication use. We used a novel estimator in a marginal structural model to account for bias due to confounding and informative censoring.
Results:
The mean annual decline in eGFR was 2.41 ± 4.91 mL/min/1.73 m2. In unadjusted analysis, antihypertensive medication use was not associated with annual change in kidney function. Traditional multivariable regression did not substantially change these estimates. Based on a marginal structural analysis, persons on antihypertensives had slower declines in kidney function; participants had an estimated 0.88 (0.13, 1.63) ml/min/1.73 m2 per year slower decline in eGFR compared with persons on no treatment. In a model that also accounted for bias due to informative censoring, the estimate for the treatment effect was 2.23 (−0.13, 4.59) ml/min/1.73 m2 per year slower decline in eGFR.
Conclusion:
In summary, estimates from a marginal structural model suggested that antihypertensive therapy was associated with preserved kidney function in hypertensive elderly adults. Confirmatory studies may provide power to determine the strength and validity of the findings.
doi:10.2202/1557-4679.1320
PMCID: PMC3204667  PMID: 22049266
aged; kidney function; hypertension; marginal structural model
9.  The Impact of the Aging Population on Coronary Heart Disease in the U.S 
The American journal of medicine  2011;124(9):827-833.e5.
Background
The demographic shift toward an older population in the U.S. will result in a higher burden of coronary heart disease, but the increase has not been quantified in detail. We sought to estimate the impact of the aging U.S. population on coronary heart disease.
Methods
We used the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model, a Markov model of the U.S. population aged 35–84 years, and U.S. Census projections to model the age structure of the population from 2010–2040.
Results
Assuming no substantive changes in risks factors or treatments, incident coronary heart disease is projected to increase by approximately 26%, from 981,000 in 2010 to 1,234,000 in 2040, and prevalent coronary heart disease by 47%, from 11.7 million to 17.3 million. Mortality will be affected strongly by the aging population; annual coronary heart disease deaths are projected to increase by 56% over the next 30 years, from 392,000 to 610,000. Coronary heart disease-related health care costs are projected to rise by 41% from $126.2 billion in 2010 to $177.5 billion in 2040 in the U.S. It may be possible to offset the increase in disease burden through achievement of Healthy People 2010/2020 objectives or interventions that substantially reduce obesity, blood pressure, or cholesterol levels in the population.
Conclusions
Without considerable changes in risk factors or treatments, the aging of the U.S. population will result in a sizeable increase in coronary heart disease incidence, prevalence, mortality, and costs. Health care stakeholders need to plan for future age-related health care demands of coronary heart disease.
doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.04.010
PMCID: PMC3159777  PMID: 21722862
Aging; coronary heart disease; forecasting; Markov chains
10.  Cystatin C Level as a Marker of Kidney Function in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection 
Archives of internal medicine  2007;167(20):2213-2219.
Background
Although studies have reported a high prevalence of end-stage renal disease in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals, little is known about moderate impairments in kidney function. Cystatin C measurement may be more sensitive than creatinine for detecting impaired kidney function in persons with HIV.
Methods
We evaluated kidney function in the Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection (FRAM) cohort, a representative sample of 1008 HIV-infected persons and 290 controls from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study in the United States.
Results
Cystatin C level was elevated in HIV-infected individuals; the mean±SD cystatin C level was 0.92±0.22 mg/L in those infected with HIV and 0.76±0.15 mg/L in controls (P<.001). In contrast, both mean creatinine levels and estimated glomerular filtration rates appeared similar in HIV-infected individuals and controls (0.87±0.21 vs 0.85±0.19 mg/dL [to convert to micromoles per liter, multiply by 88.4] [P=.35] and 110±26 vs 106±23 mL/min/1.73 m2 [P=.06], respectively). Persons with HIV infection were more likely to have a cystatin C level greater than 1.0 mg/L (OR, 9.8; 95% confidence interval, 4.4-22.0 [P<.001]), a threshold demonstrated to be associated with increased risk for death and cardiovascular and kidney disease. Among participants with HIV, potentially modifiable risk factors for kidney disease, hypertension, and low high-density lipoprotein concentration were associated with a higher cystatin C level, as were lower CD4 lymphocyte count and coinfection with hepatitis C virus (all P<.001).
Conclusions
Individuals infected with HIV had substantially worse kidney function when measured by cystatin Clevel compared with HIV-negative controls, whereas mean creatinine levels and estimated glomerular filtration rates were similar. Cystatin C measurement could be a useful clinical tool to identify HIV-infected persons at increased risk for kidney and cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.1001/archinte.167.20.2213
PMCID: PMC3189482  PMID: 17998494
11.  Age and cystatin C in healthy adults: a collaborative study 
Background. Kidney function declines with age, but a substantial portion of this decline has been attributed to the higher prevalence of risk factors for kidney disease at older ages. The effect of age on kidney function has not been well described in a healthy population across a wide age spectrum.
Methods. The authors pooled individual-level cross-sectional data from 18 253 persons aged 28–100 years in four studies: the Cardiovascular Health Study; the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study; the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-Stage Disease cohort. Kidney function was measured by cystatin C. Clinical risk factors for kidney disease included diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease and heart failure.
Results. Across the age range, there was a strong, non-linear association of age with cystatin C concentration. This association was substantial, even among participants free of clinical risk factors for kidney disease; mean cystatin C levels were 46% higher in participants 80 and older compared with those <40 years (1.06 versus 0.72 mg/L, P < 0.001). Participants with one or more risk factors had higher cystatin C concentrations for a given age, and the age association was slightly stronger (P < 0.001 for age and risk factor interaction).
Conclusions. There is a strong, non-linear association of age with kidney function, even in healthy individuals. An important area for research will be to investigate the mechanisms that lead to deterioration of kidney function in apparently healthy persons.
doi:10.1093/ndt/gfp474
PMCID: PMC2904248  PMID: 19749145
ageing; chronic kidney disease; cystatin C; epidemiology
12.  Depression, Stress, and Quality of Life in Persons with Chronic Kidney Disease: The Heart and Soul Study 
Nephron. Clinical practice  2005;103(1):c1-c7.
Background
The effect of mild chronic kidney disease (CKD) on depression, stress, quality of life (QOL), and health status is not well understood. We compared these outcomes in subjects with and without CKD.
Methods
We performed a cross-sectional study of 967 outpatients enrolled in the Heart and Soul Study. CKD was defined as a measured creatinine clearance <60 ml/min. Outcome measures included depressive symptoms measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), stress measured using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and QOL and overall health rated as excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor.
Results
The prevalence of depressive symptoms (17 vs. 19%, p = 0.4) or perceived stress (11 vs. 16%, p = 0.09) did not vary significantly by CKD. The prevalence of fair or poor QOL was not significantly different in subjects with CKD, compared with those without CKD (24 vs. 23%, p = 0.65). Age-adjusted analyses revealed a significant association of CKD with QOL (p = 0.003), however, this association no longer reached statistical significance after adjustment for confounders (p = 0.06). Subjects with CKD were more likely to report poor or fair overall health than subjects without CKD (42 vs. 34%, p = 0.03). After multivariate adjustment, CKD remained significantly associated with worse overall health (OR = 1.65, 95% CI 1.21–2.24, p = 0.001), and modestly associated with QOL (OR = 1.31, 95% CI 0.99–1.75, p = 0.06), but had no association with depression (p = 0.48) or stress (p = 0.24).
Conclusion
In this study of persons with coronary artery disease, subjects with CKD had reduced overall health and modestly reduced QOL; however, mental health was similar in those with and without CKD. These findings suggest that self-assessed overall health may decline at earlier stages of renal dysfunction than mental health outcomes or QOL.
doi:10.1159/000090112
PMCID: PMC2776701  PMID: 16340237
Chronic kidney disease; Kidney disease, depression; Kidney disease, stress; Kidney disease, quality of life
13.  Association of Chronic Kidney Disease and Anemia with Physical Capacity: The Heart and Soul Study 
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and anemia are common conditions in the outpatient setting, but their independent and additive effects on physical capacity have not been well characterized. The association of CKD and anemia with self-reported physical function was evaluated and exercise capacity was measured in patients with coronary disease. A cross-sectional study of 954 outpatients enrolled in the Heart and Soul study was performed. CKD was defined as a measured creatinine clearance <60 ml/min, and anemia was defined as a hemoglobin level of <12g/dl. Physical function was self-assessed using the physical limitation subscale of the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (0 to 100), and exercise capacity was defined as metabolic equivalent tasks achieved at peak exercise. In unadjusted analyses, CKD was associated with lower self-reported physical function (67.6 versus 74.9; P < 0.001) and lower exercise capacity (5.5 versus 7.9; P < 0.001). Similarly, anemia was associated with lower self-reported physical function (62.6 versus 74.3; P < 0.001) and exercise capacity (5.7 versus 7.5; P < 0.001). After multivariate adjustment, CKD (69.4 versus 74.2; P = 0.003) and anemia (67.5 versus 73.6; P = 0.009) each remained associated with lower mean self-reported physical function. In addition, patients with CKD (6.3 versus 7.7; P < 0.001) or anemia (6.5 versus 7.4; P = 0.004) had lower adjusted mean exercise capacities. Participants with both CKD and anemia had lower self-reported physical function and exercise capacity than those with either alone. CKD and anemia are independently associated with physical limitation and reduced exercise capacity in outpatients with coronary disease, and these effects are additive. The broad impact of these disease conditions merits further study.
doi:10.1097/01.ASN.0000143743.78092.E3
PMCID: PMC2776664  PMID: 15504944
14.  Diabetes-related complications, glycemic control, and falls in older adults 
Diabetes care  2007;31(3):391-396.
BACKGROUND
Older adults with type 2 diabetes are more likely to fall but little is known about risk factors for falls in this population. We determined if diabetes-related complications or treatments are associated with fall risk in older diabetic adults.
METHODS
In the Health, Aging, and Body Composition cohort of well-functioning older adults, participants reported falls in the previous year at annual visits. Odds ratios for more frequent falls among 446 diabetic participants whose mean age was 73.6 years, with an average follow-up of 4.9 years, were estimated with continuation ratio models.
RESULTS
In the first year, 23% reported falling; 22, 26, 30, and 31% fell in subsequent years. In adjusted models, reduced peroneal nerve response amplitude (OR=1.50; 95% CI 1.07, 2.12, worst quartile vs others), higher cystatin-C, a marker of reduced renal function, (OR=1.38; 95% CI 1.11, 1.71, for 1SD increase), poorer contrast sensitivity (OR=1.41; 95% CI 0.97, 2.04, worst quartile vs others), and low A1C in insulin users (OR = 4.36; 95% CI 1.32, 14.46, A1C≤6% vs >8%) were associated with fall risk. In those using oral hypoglycemic medications but not insulin, low A1C was not associated with fall risk (OR = 1.29; 95% CI 0.65, 2.54, A1C≤6% vs >8%). Adjustment for physical performance explained some, but not all, of these associations.
CONCLUSIONS
In older diabetic adults, reducing diabetes-related complications may prevent falls. Achieving lower A1C levels with oral hypoglycemic medications was not associated with more frequent falls, but, among those using insulin, A1C ≤6% increased fall risk.
doi:10.2337/dc07-1152
PMCID: PMC2288549  PMID: 18056893

Results 1-14 (14)