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.
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.
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.
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.
aged; kidney function; hypertension; marginal structural model
Moderate kidney disease may predispose to infection. We sought to determine whether decreased kidney function, as estimated by serum cystatin C, was associated with the risk of infection-related hospitalization in older individuals.
Setting & Participants
5,142 Cardiovascular Health Study participants with measured serum creatinine and cystatin C and without eGFR <15 ml/min/1.73 m2 at enrollment.
The primary exposure of interest was estimated glomerular filtration rate using serum cystatin C (eGFRSCysC).
Infection-related hospitalizations during a median follow-up of 11.5 years.
In adjusted analyses, eGFRSCysC categories of 60–89, 45–59, and 15–44 ml/min/1.73 m2 were associated with 16%, 37%, and 64% greater risk of all-cause infection-related hospitalization, respectively, compared with an eGFRSCysC ≥90 ml/min/1.73 m2. When cause specific infection was examined, an eGFRSCysC of 15–44 ml/min/1.73 m2 was associated with an 80% greater risk of pulmonary and 160% greater risk of genitourinary infection compared with an eGFRSCysC ≥90 ml/min/1.73 m2.
No measures of urinary protein, study limited to principal discharge diagnosis.
Lower kidney function, estimated using cystatin C, was associated with a linear and graded risk of infection-related hospitalization. These findings highlight that even moderate degrees of reduced kidney function are associated with clinically significant higher risks of serious infection in older individuals.
renal disease; chronic kidney disease; infection; clinical epidemiology
Retinal microvascular signs are associated with systemic conditions and cognitive decline. We studied the associations of microvascular changes, measured by retinal signs, with disability in performing activities of daily living (ADL).
Prospective cohort study.
1487 participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study (mean age 78 years) who were free of ADL disability and had available data on retinal signs and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) at the 1998–99 visit.
Main Outcome Measure
Incident ADL disability, defined as self-reported difficulty in performing any ADLs, by the presence of retinal signs and advanced carotid atherosclerosis, defined by carotid IMT ≥ 80th percentile or ≥ 25% stenosis; and potential mediation by cerebral microvascular disease on brain imaging or by executive dysfunction, slow gait, and depressive mood that are symptoms of frontal subcortical dysfunction.
During the median follow-up of 3.1 years (maximum 7.8 years), participants with ≥ 2 retinal signs had a higher rate of disability than those with < 2 retinal signs (10.1% versus 7.1%; adjusted hazards ratio, 1.45; 95% confidence interval, 1.24–1.69; P < 0.001). There was no evidence of interaction by advanced carotid atherosclerosis (P > 0.10). The association seemed to be partially mediated by executive dysfunction, slow gait, and depressive symptoms, but not by cerebral microvascular disease on brain imaging.
These results provide further support for the pathophysiologic and prognostic significance of microvascular disease in age-related disability. However, it remains to be determined how to best utilize retinal photography in the clinical risk prediction.
The association of subclinical vascular disease and early declines in kidney function has not been well studied.
Prospective cohort study
Setting & Participants
MESA participants with eGFR ≥60 ml/min/1.73m2 with follow-up of 5 years
Pulse pressure (pulse pressure), small and large arterial elasticity (SAE, LAE), and flow mediated dilation.
kidney function decline
SAE and LAE were measured by pulse contour analysis of the radial artery. Kidney function was measured by serum creatinine- and cystatin C-based eGFR.
Among 4,853 adults, higher pulse pressure and lower SAE and LAE had independent and linear associations with faster rates of kidney function decline. Compared to persons with pulse pressure 40–50mmHg, eGFRSCysC decline was 0.29 (p=0.006), 0.56 (p<0.001), and 0.91 (p<0.001) ml/min/1.73m2/year faster among persons with pulse pressure 50–60, 60–70, and >70mmHg, respectively. Compared to the highest quartile of SAE (most elastic), eGFRSCysC decline was 0.26 (p=0.009), 0.35 (p=0.001), and 0.70 (p<0.001) ml/min/1.73m2/year faster for the second, third and fourth quartiles respectively. For LAE, compared to the highest quartile, eGFRSCysC decline was 0.28 (p=0.004), 0.58 (p<0.001), and 0.83 (p<0.001) ml/min/1.73m2/year faster for each decreasing quartile of LAE. Findings were similar with creatinine-based eGFR. In contrast, among 2,997 adults with flow-mediated dilation and kidney function measures, flow-mediated dilation was not significantly associated with kidney function decline. For every 1-SD greater flow-mediated dilation, eGFRSCysC and eGFRSCr changed by 0.05 ml/min/1.73m2/year (p=0.3) and 0.06 ml/min/1.73m2/year (p=0.04), respectively.
We had no direct measure of GFR, in common with nearly all large population based studies.
Higher pulse pressure and lower arterial elasticity, but not flow-mediated dilation, were linearly and independently associated with faster kidney function decline among persons with eGFR ≥60 ml/min/1.73m2. Future studies investigate whether treatments to lower stiffness of large and small arteries may slow the rate of kidney function loss.
kidney function; arterial elasticity; chronic kidney disease; atherosclerosis
Recent studies have demonstrated greater risks of cardiovascular events and mortality among persons who have lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) and higher parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. We sought to evaluate the association between markers of mineral metabolism and sudden cardiac death (SCD) among the 2,312 participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study who were free of clinical cardiovascular disease at baseline. We estimated associations of baseline 25-OHD and PTH concentrations individually and in combination with SCD using Cox proportional hazards models after adjustment for demographics, cardiovascular risk factors, and kidney function. During a median follow-up of 14 years, there were 73 adjudicated SCD events. The annual incidence of SCD was greater among subjects who had lower 25-OHD concentrations: 2 events per 10,000 for 25-OHD ≥ 20 ng/ml and 4 events per 10,000 for 25-OHD < 20 ng/ml. Similarly, SCD incidence was greater among subjects who had higher PTH concentrations: 2 events per 10,000 for PTH ≤ 65 pg/ml and 4 events per 10,000 for PTH > 65 pg/ml. Multivariate adjustment attenuated associations of 25-OHD and PTH with SCD. Finally, 267 participants (11.7% of the cohort) had high PTH and low 25-OHD concentrations. This combination was associated with a more than 2-fold risk of SCD after adjustment (hazard ratio 2.19, 95% confidence interval 1.17, 4.10, p=0.017) compared to participants with normal levels of PTH and 25-OHD. The combination of lower 25-OHD and higher PTH concentrations appears to be associated independently with SCD risk among older adults without cardiovascular disease.
Sudden cardiac death; Vitamin D; Parathyroid hormone; Elderly; Risk Factors
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cognitive impairment are common in dialysis patients. Given the proposed role of microvascular disease on cognitive function, particularly cognitive domains that incorporate executive functions, we hypothesized that prevalent systemic CVD would be associated with worse cognitive performance in hemodialysis patients.
Setting and Participants
200 maintenance hemodialysis patients without prior stroke from 5 Boston-area hemodialysis units
CVD, defined by history of coronary disease or peripheral vascular disease
Performance on a detailed neurocognitive battery. Primary analyses quantified cognitive performance using principal components analysis to reduce cognitive tests to a processing speed/executive function domain and a memory domain. Multivariable linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, education, race and other clinical and demographic characteristics.
Mean (SD) age of participants was 62 (18) years and 75 (38%) had CVD. Individuals with CVD were older, more likely to be men, diabetic, and current or former smokers. In adjusted models, individuals with CVD performed 0.50 standard deviations worse (p<0.001) on tests assessing processing speed/executive function, while there was no difference in performance on tests of memory. Similar results were seen when assessing individual tests, with performance on the block design, digit symbol coding and Trail Making Tests A and B significantly associated with CVD in age, sex, education and race-adjusted analyses and approaching toward significance in fully adjusted models.
CVD ascertainment dependent on patient recall and dialysis unit documentation. No brain imaging.
The presence of CVD is associated with worse cognitive performance on tests of processing speed and executive functioning in hemodialysis patients and identifies a high risk population for greater difficulty with complex tasks.
Vitamin D deficiency and parathyroid hormone (PTH) excess are common among older adults and may adversely impact cardiovascular health. We evaluated associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) and PTH concentrations, separately, and in combination, with incident cardiovascular events and mortality during 14 years of follow-up in the Cardiovascular Health Study.
Methods and results
We studied 2,312 participants who were free of cardiovascular disease at baseline. We measured 25-OHD and intact PTH from previously frozen serum using mass spectrometry and a two-site immunoassay. Outcomes were adjudicated cases of myocardial infarction, heart failure, cardiovascular death, and all cause mortality. There were 384 participants (17%) who had serum 25-OHD concentrations <15 ng/ml and 570 (25%) who had serum PTH concentrations ≥ 65 pg/ml. After adjustment, each 10-ng/ml lower 25-OHD concentration was associated with a 9% greater (95% CI 2% to 17% greater) relative hazard of mortality and a 25% greater (95% CI 8% to 44% greater) relative hazard of myocardial infarction. Serum 25-OHD concentrations <15 ng/ml, were associated with a 29% greater (95% CI 5% to 55% greater) risk of mortality. Serum PTH concentrations ≥ 65 pg/ml were associated with a 30% greater risk of heart failure (95% CI 6% to 61% greater), but not other outcomes. There was no evidence of an interaction between serum 25-OHD and PTH concentrations and cardiovascular events.
Among older adults, 25-OHD deficiency is associated with myocardial infarction and mortality; PTH excess is associated with heart failure. Vitamin D and PTH might influence cardiovascular risk through divergent pathways.
Vitamin D; parathyroid hormone; myocardial infarction; cardiovascular death; heart failure; mortality; mineral metabolism
Background. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature mortality in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). We examined peripheral augmentation index (AIx) as a measure of systemic vascular function and circulating markers of vascular inflammation in patients with ADPKD.
Methods. Fifty-two ADPKD patients with hypertension and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, 50 ADPKD patients with hypertension and eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2, 42 normotensive ADPKD patients with eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and 51 normotensive healthy controls were enrolled in this study. AIx was measured from peripheral artery tone recordings using finger plethysmography. Serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, P-selectin, E-selectin, soluble Fas (sFas) and Fas ligand (FasL) were measured as markers of vascular inflammation.
Results. AIx was higher in all three patient groups with ADPKD compared to healthy controls (P < 0.05). AIx was similar between the normotensive ADPKD patients with eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and hypertensive ADPKD patients with eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (P > 0.05). ICAM, P-selectin, E-selectin and sFas were higher and FasL lower in all ADPKD groups compared to controls (P < 0.05). ICAM, P-selectin and E-selectin were similar between the normotensive ADPKD patients with eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and hypertensive ADPKD patients with eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (P > 0.05). According to multiple regression analysis, predictors of AIx in ADPKD included age, height, heart rate and mean arterial pressure (P < 0.05). Vascular inflammatory markers were not predictors of AIx in ADPKD.
Conclusions. Systemic vascular dysfunction, manifesting as an increase in AIx and vascular inflammation is evident in young normotensive ADPKD patients with preserved renal function. Vascular inflammation is not associated with elevated AIx in ADPKD.
hypertension; inflammation; kidney disease; vascular function
The growing burden and morbidity of chronic kidney disease (CKD) warrant effective strategies for identifying those at increased risk. We examined the association of cystatin C and albuminuria with development of CKD stage 3.
Prospective observational study.
Setting and Participants
5,422 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73m2.
Participants were categorized into four mutually exclusive groups: presence or absence of microalbuminuria (albumin-creatinine ratio >17 and > 25 µg/mg in men and women, respectively) in those with or without cystatin C ≥ 1.0 mg/L.
Outcomes and Measurements
Incident CKD stage 3 was defined as eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73m2 at the 3rd or 4th visit and an annual decline of > 1 ml/min/1.73 m2. Poisson regression was used to evaluate incident rate ratios in unadjusted and adjusted analyses that include baseline eGFR.
Mean age was 61 years, 49% were men, 38% white, 11% had diabetes, 13.7% had cystatin C ≥ 1mg/L, 8.4% had microalbuminuria, and 2.7 % had cystatin C ≥ 1 mg/L with microalbuminuria. 554 (10%) participants developed CKD stage 3 over a median follow-up of 4.7 years and the adjusted incidence rate ratios (95% CI) were 1.57 (1.19–2.07), 1.37 (1.13–1.66), and 2.12 (1.61–2.80) in those with microalbuminuria, cystatin C ≥ 1 mg/L, and both, respectively, compared to those with neither.
Relatively short follow up and absence of measured GFR.
Cystatin C and microalbuminuria are independent risk factors for incident CKD stage 3 and could be useful as screening tools to identify those at increased risk.
Background and Purpose
We hypothesized that retinal microvascular signs are associated with executive dysfunction, slow gait, and depressive mood that are characteristic features of microvascular disease affecting frontal subcortical regions of the brain.
In the Cardiovascular Health Study, 1744 participants (mean age 78) free of stroke had retinal photographs and carotid ultrasound during the 1997–1998 visit. We examined the cross-sectional association of retinal signs with the digit-symbol substitution test (DSST) score, gait speed, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies – Depression (CES-D) score, and depressive mood, defined as CES-D score > 9 or antidepressant use.
After adjusting for potential confounders, retinal signs were associated with lower DSST score (generalized arteriolar narrowing and arteriovenous nicking), slower gait (retinopathy), and depressive mood (generalized arteriolar narrowing). A higher number of retinal signs was associated with lower DSST score (−0.76 and −2.79 points for 1 sign and ≥ 2 signs versus none; P < 0.001) and slower gait (−0.009 and −0.083 m/sec; P = 0.047), but not with the square root of CES-D score (0.079 and −0.208; P = 0.072). In addition, coexistence of retinal signs (generalized arteriolar narrowing and arteriovenous nicking) and carotid atherosclerosis was associated with lower DSST score compared with either process alone (P for interaction < 0.01). Notably, further adjustment for ventricular size, white matter disease, and infarcts on magnetic resonance imaging did not attenuate the association.
Retinal signs are associated with executive dysfunction and slow gait, and possibly with depressive mood, suggesting a common process involving small vessels.
Retinal Microvascular Signs; Executive Function; Gait Speed; Depression
Purpose of Review
To discuss recent studies which have evaluated determinants of cystatin C and to focus on the relationship of cystatin C with mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and non-cardiovascular outcomes.
In the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Study cystatin C was associated with demographic characteristics independent of measured glomerular filtration rate (GFR), although this was to a smaller extent than creatinine. In patients with established CKD, cystatin C was strongly and inversely correlated with measured GFR, suggesting that although cystatin C may have other determinants, it is primarily a measure of kidney function. Several cohort studies, particularly in older adults, have now demonstrated that cystatin C is linearly associated with mortality, CVD and non-CVD outcomes, whereas creatinine is primarily associated with risk in individuals with more advanced kidney disease. A recent study has also shown that changes in kidney function as ascertained by cystatin C, even within the relatively normal range, are associated with subsequent CVD and all-cause mortality among older adults.
Cystatin C appears to capture an association of mild kidney disease with increased risk of mortality, CVD and non-CVD outcomes. Future studies should evaluate whether cystatin C can improve medical decision-making and lead to favorable patient outcomes.
cystatin C; kidney disease; cardiovascular disease; mortality
Cognitive impairment is common in hemodialysis patients and may be impacted by multiple patient and treatment characteristics. The impact of dialysis dose on cognitive function remains uncertain, particularly in the current era of increased dialysis dose and flux.
We explored the cross-sectional relationship between dialysis adequacy and cognitive function in a cohort of maintenance hemodialysis patients. Adequacy was defined as the average of the 3 most proximate single pool Kt/V assessments. A detailed neurocognitive battery was administered during the 1st hour of dialysis. Multivariable linear regression models were adjusted for age, sex, education, race and other clinical and demographic characteristics.
Among 273 patients who underwent cognitive testing, the mean (SD) age was 63 (17) years and the median dialysis duration was 13 months, 47% were woman, 22% were African American, and 48% had diabetes. The mean (SD) Kt/V was 1.51 (0.24). In univariate, parsimonious and multivariable models, there were no significant relationships between decreased cognitive function and lower Kt/V.
In contrast to several older studies, there is no association between lower Kt/V and worse cognitive performance in the current era of increased dialysis dose. Future studies should address the longitudinal relationship between adequacy of dialysis and cognitive function to confirm these findings.
Cognitive function; Dialysis adequacy; Chronic kidney disease
Both depression and cognitive impairment are common in hemodialysis patients, are associated with adverse clinical outcomes, and place an increased burden on health care resources.
Setting & Participants
241 maintenance hemodialysis patients in the Boston area
Depressive symptomatology, defined by a Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) score of 16 or higher
Performance on a detailed neurocognitive battery
Mean age was 63.8 years, 49.0% were female, 21.6% were African American, and median dialysis duration was 13.8 months. There were 57 (23.7%) participants with significant depressive symptoms. In multivariable analysis adjusting for age, sex, education and other comorbid conditions, participants with and without depressive symptoms performed similarly on the Mini-Mental State Examination (p=0.4) and tests of memory. However, participants with greater depressive symptoms performed significantly worse on tests assessing processing speed, attention, and executive function, including Trails Making Test B (p=0.02) and Digit-Symbol Coding (p=0.01). Defining depression using a CES-D score ≥18 did not substantially change results.
Cross-sectional design, absence of brain imaging
Hemodialysis patients with a greater burden of depressive symptoms perform worse on tests of cognition related to processing speed and executive function. Further research is needed to assess the effects of treating depressive symptoms on cognitive performance in dialysis patients.
Depression; cognitive function; dementia; ESRD; chronic kidney disease
Background. Alcohol consumption appears to be protective for cardiovascular disease; however, its relationship with kidney disease is unclear.
Methods. This prospective cohort study included 4343 subjects from the Cardiovascular Health Study, a longitudinal, community-based cohort of persons aged ≥65 from four US communities. We used previously defined categories based on weekly alcohol consumption: none, former, <1 drink, 1–6 drinks, 7–13 drinks and ≥14 drinks. Cystatin C was measured at baseline, year 3 and year 7; eligible subjects had at least two measures. Estimated GFRcys was calculated from cystatin C. The primary outcome was rapid kidney function as an annual estimated GFR (eGFRcys) loss >3 mL/min/1.73 m2/year.
Results. Eight percent of the cohort reported former alcohol use and 52% reported current alcohol consumption. During a mean follow-up of 5.6 years, 1075 (25%) participants had rapid kidney function decline. In adjusted logistic regression models, there was no association between alcohol use and kidney function decline (odds ratio, 95% confidence interval: none = reference; former = 1.18, 0.89–1.56; <1 drink = 1.20, 0.99–1.47; 1–6 = 1.18, 0.95–1.45; 7–13 = 1.10, 0.80–1.53; >14 = 0.89, 0.61–1.13). Results were similar with kidney function decline as a continuous outcome.
Conclusions. Our results suggest that moderate alcohol consumption has neither adverse nor beneficial effects on kidney function. Although clinicians will need to consider the potential deleterious effects associated with alcohol consumption, there does not appear to be a basis for recommending that older adults discontinue or initiate light to moderate alcohol consumption to protect against kidney disease.
alcohol; kidney disease; outcomes; progression
Older adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) typically take more than five medications and have multiple prescribing physicians. Little however is known about how they prioritize their medical conditions or decide which medications to take.
Semistructured interviews (average length 40 minutes) with twenty community-dwelling adults with CKD stages 3-5D, receiving nephrology care at a tertiary referral center. Respondents were asked about medications, prescribing physicians, and medication-taking behaviors. We performed thematic analysis to explain patients’ decisions regarding medication prioritization, understanding, and adherence decisions.
Participants (age range, 55–84 years; mean, 72) took 5–14 prescribed medications, had 2–9 physicians, and 5–11 comorbid conditions. All had assigned implicit priorities to their medications. While the majority expressed the intention to be adherent, many regularly skipped medications they considered less important. Most identified the prescribing physician and indication for each medication, but there was often substantial discordance between beliefs about medications and conventional medical opinion. Respondents prioritized medications based on the salience of the particular condition, perceived effects of the treatment, and on the barriers (physical, logistic, or financial) to taking the prescribed drug. Side effects of medications were common and anxiety-provoking, but discussions with the prescribing physician were often delayed or unfulfilling for the patient.
Polypharmacy in CKD patients leads to complex medication choices and adherence behaviors in this population. Most of the patients we interviewed had beliefs or priorities that were non-concordant with conventional medical opinion, but patients rarely discussed these beliefs and priorities, or the resultant poor medication adherence, with their physicians. Further study is needed to provide quantitative data on the magnitude of adherence barriers. It is likely that more effective communication about medication taking could improve patients’ health outcomes and reduce potential adverse drug events.
qualitative; chronic kidney disease; medication adherence; elderly
A higher body mass index is associated with better outcomes in hemodialysis patients; however, this index does not differentiate between fat and muscle mass. In order to clarify this, we examined the relationship between measures of fat and muscle mass and mortality in 1709 patients from the Hemodialysis Study. Triceps skin-fold thickness was used to assess body fat and mid-arm muscle circumference was used to assess muscle mass. Cox regression was used to evaluate the relationship between measures of body composition with all-cause mortality after adjustments for demographic, cardiovascular, dialysis, and nutrition-related risk factors. During a median follow-up of 2.5 years, there were 802 deaths. In adjusted models with continuous covariates, higher triceps skin-fold thickness and higher body mass index were significantly associated with decreased hazards of mortality, while higher mid-arm muscle circumference showed a trend toward decreased mortality. In adjusted models, lower quartiles of triceps skin-fold thickness, mid-arm muscle circumference, and body mass index were all significantly associated with higher all-cause mortality. These studies show that body composition in end-stage renal disease bears a complex relationship to all-cause mortality.
body mass index; dialysis; mortality; obesity
Disorders in mineral metabolism are associated with risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in patients with kidney disease as well as in the general population. This risk is thought to be mediated, in part, through the mechanism of stiffening of the arteries.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationships between serum calcium, phosphorus, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), and 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and arterial pulse wave velocity (aPWV) among 2,229 community-dwelling elderly persons participating in the Health Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) study.
The mean age of the participants was 72 years; 52% were woman, 39% were black, and 17% had chronic kidney disease (CKD) (estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min/1.73 m2). In parallel unadjusted analyses, the following associations were observed: 2.86% greater aPWV per 12 ng/ml (s.d.) lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D (95% confidence interval −4.38%, −1.31%), 3.04% greater aPWV per 28 pg/ml (s.d.) higher iPTH (95% confidence interval 1.42–4.68%), and 2.37% lower aPWV per 0.5 mg/dl (s.d.) higher phosphorus (95% confidence interval −3.90% to − 0.81%). Except for phosphorus, these associations were attenuated and rendered no longer statistically significant after adjustment for demographic risk factors, clinical site, season, medications and other CVD risk factors. The results were similar in men and women and were not dependent on the presence of CKD.
Among well-functioning community-dwelling elderly persons, only serum phosphorus was associated with aPWV; and this association was in the opposite direction of the one hypothesized. Factors other than vascular stiffening may mediate the relationship between disordered mineral metabolism and CVD events in community-living elders.
arterial stiffness; blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; hypertension; kidney disease; mineral metabolism; PWV
In cross-sectional analyses, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are inversely related to levels of kidney function. The relationship between kidney function and subsequent changes in CRP is unknown.
We studied 4,364 individuals from the Cardiovascular Health Study, a longitudinal cohort of community-dwelling older adults. Baseline eGFRcys was estimated using cystatin C. CRP was measured at baseline and after 3 and 7 years of follow-up; slopes of change in CRP were calculated.
The mean (SD) age of the cohort was 72 (5.2) years; mean (SD) eGFRcys was 78.9 (18.4) ml/min/1.73 m2. The median (interquartile range IQR) baseline CRP was 2.39 (1.22, 4.33) mg/l; the median (IQR) yearly change in CRP was −0.0051 (−0.020 to 0.27) mg/l/year. After adjustment for demographic characteristics and the initial level of CRP, each standard deviation lower baseline eGFR was associated with a small and non-significant yearly increase in CRP (0.032 mg/l/year; 95% CI: −0.005 to 0.070, p = 0.094).
We did not find a relationship between eGFR and subsequent changes in CRP. The association between kidney function and CRP in cross-sectional analyses may reflect unmeasured confounding by atherosclerosis; alternatively, the burden of comorbidity and interval mortality in this population may have masked a stronger longitudinal association between kidney function and change in CRP. Further study in younger populations may clarify whether impaired kidney function leads to change in inflammation over time.
Inflammation; Cystatin C; Kidney function; Epidemiology
Background. Kidney disease is a risk factor for mortality and cardiovascular disease in older adults, but the separate and combined effects of albuminuria and cystatin C, a novel marker of glomerular filtration, are not known.
Methods. We examined associations of these markers with mortality and cardiovascular outcomes during a median follow-up of 8.3 years in 3291 older adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Kidney disease was assessed using urinary albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR), cystatin C and Modification of Diet in Renal Disease estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). We defined subgroups based on presence of microalbuminuria (MA, ACR > 30 mg/g) and categories of normal kidney function (cystatin C < 1.0 mg/L and eGFR > 60 mL/min/1.73 m2); preclinical kidney disease (cystatin C level > 1.0 mg/l but eGFR > 60 mL/min/1.73 m2); and chronic kidney disease (CKD) (eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2). Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine associations between these six subgroups and all-cause or cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction and heart failure.
Results. One thousand one hundred fifty (34.9%) had normal kidney function (12.2% with MA), 1518 (46.1%) had preclinical kidney disease (17.9% with MA) and 622 (18.9%) had CKD (47% with MA). After adjustment, the presence of either preclinical kidney disease or MA was associated with an over 50% increase in mortality risk; the presence of both was associated with a 2.4-fold mortality risk. Those with CKD and MA were at highest risk, with a nearly 4-fold mortality risk.
Conclusion. Elevated cystatin C and albuminuria are common, identify different subsets of the older population, and are independent, graded risk factors for cardiovascular disease and mortality.
albuminuria; aging; cardiovascular diseases; kidney function; mortality
Recent studies have demonstrated an association between moderate kidney dysfunction and sudden cardiac death in people with cardiovascular disease.
Methods and Results
The study was a longitudinal analysis among 4465 participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study without prevalent cardiovascular disease at baseline. Cystatin C and creatinine were measured from baseline sera. SCD was defined as a sudden pulseless condition from a cardiac origin in a previously stable individual that occurred out of the hospital or in the emergency room. The association between cystatin C tertiles and SCD was determined with multivariate Cox proportional hazards. A similar analysis compared SCD incidence across creatinine-based eGFR tertiles. Over a median follow-up of 11.2 years, 91 adjudicated SCD events occurred. The annual incidence of SCD events increased across cystatin C tertiles: 10 events per 10,000 person years in tertile 1, 25 events per 10,000 person years in tertile 2 and 32 events per 10,000 person years in the highest cystatin C tertile. These associations persisted after multivariate adjustment: [HR = 2.72, 95% CI (1.44–5.16) in tertile 2 and HR = 2.67, 95% CI (1.33–5.35) in tertile 3]. After multivariate adjustment, the rate of SCD also increased in a linear distribution across creatinine-based eGFR tertiles: 15 events per 10,000 person years in tertile 1, 22 events per 10,000 person years in tertile 2 and 27 events per 10,000 person years in tertile 3. No significant associations, however, remained between creatinine-based eGFR and SCD after multivariable adjustment.
Impaired kidney function, as measured by cystatin C, has an independent association with SCD risk among elderly persons without clinical cardiovascular disease.
Cystatin C; kidney; sudden cardiac death; epidemiology
Persons with early kidney disease have an increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality, but the importance of accelerated atherosclerosis in promoting these outcomes is unclear. We therefore explored whether serum cystatin C level is associated with carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in ambulatory adults without clinical heart disease.
Setting & Participants
We evaluated 6,557 ethnically diverse persons free of clinical cardiovascular disease aged 45 to 84 years at the baseline visit of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
Kidney function was estimated by using 2 methods: serum cystatin C level and estimated glomerular filtration rate, based on creatinine and cystatin C levels.
Outcomes & Measurements
Study outcomes were internal and common carotid IMT, measured by using high-resolution B-mode ultrasound. Multivariate linear and logistic regressions were used to evaluate the independent association of kidney function with carotid IMT.
In unadjusted linear analysis, each SD (0.23 mg/L) greater cystatin C level was associated with 0.091-mm greater internal carotid IMT (P < 0.001), but this association was diminished by 70% after adjustment for age, sex, and race/ethnicity (0.027 mm; P < 0.001) and was no longer significant after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors (0.005 mm; P = 0.5). Similarly, the strong unadjusted associations of cystatin C level with common carotid IMT disappeared after adjustment. Chronic kidney disease, defined by using either creatinine level or cystatin C–based estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, had no independent association with internal and common carotid IMT.
There were few participants with severe kidney disease.
Cystatin C level had no independent association with carotid IMT in a population free of clinical heart disease. This observation suggests that accelerated atherosclerosis is unlikely to be the primary mechanism explaining the independent association of cystatin C level with cardiovascular risk.
Cystatin C; intima-media thickness (IMT); atherosclerosis; cardiovascular diseases; kidney
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.
ageing; chronic kidney disease; cystatin C; epidemiology
Impaired kidney function is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular events. We evaluated whether kidney function is associated with atrial fibrillation (AF) risk in elderly persons.
Methods and Results
Subjects were participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), a population-based cohort of ambulatory elderly. Measures of kidney function were cystatin C and creatinine-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Among the 4663 participants, 342 (7%) had AF at baseline, and 579 (13%) developed incident AF during follow-up (mean 7.4 years). In unadjusted analyses cystatin C quartiles were strongly associated with prevalent AF with a nearly 3-fold odds in the highest quartile compared with the lowest [HR = 1.19, 95% CI (0.80-1.76) in quartile 2; HR = 2.00, 95% CI (1.38-2.88) in quartile 3; and HR = 2.87, 95% CI (2.03-4.07) in quartile 4]. This increased risk for prevalent AF remained significant after multivariate adjustment. The risk for incident AF increased across cystatin C quartiles in the unadjusted analysis [HR = 1.37, 95% CI (1.07-1.75) in quartile 2; HR = 1.43, 95% CI (1.11-1.84) in quartile 3; and HR = 1.88, 95% CI (1.47-2.41) in quartile 4]; however, after multivariate adjustment, these findings were no longer significant. Estimated GFR < 60 ml/min/1.73m2 was associated with prevalent and incident AF in unadjusted, but not multivariate analyses.
Impaired kidney function, as measured by cystatin C, is an independent marker of prevalent AF; however, neither cystatin C nor estimated GFR are predictors of incident AF.
kidney function; cystatin C; arrhythmias; elderly; epidemiology
Background. Cross-sectional studies have demonstrated a consistent and linear association between circulating inflammatory markers and kidney function. The objective of this study was to determine whether elevated markers of inflammation are independently associated with longitudinal kidney function decline.
Methods. This study included 4128 subjects from the Cardiovascular Health Study. Cystatin C was measured at baseline, 3 years later and 7 years later; eligible subjects had at least two measures. Cystatin C-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFRcysC) was estimated, and rapid kidney function decline was defined as an annual loss of eGFRcysC >3 mL/min/1.73 m2. Predictors included ten inflammatory and procoagulant biomarkers: C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, white blood cell count, fibrinogen, factor VII, factor VIII, D-dimer, plasmin-antiplasmin complex and serum albumin.
Results. During the study, 1059 subjects (26%) had a rapid decline in kidney function. In contrast to the other nine inflammatory or procoagulant biomarkers, serum albumin had a consistent and inverse association with rapid kidney function decline [final adjusted logistic regression model: 1.14-fold increased odds (95% CI 1.06–1.23) of rapid decline per standard deviation lower albumin]. The lowest quartile of albumin had an odds ratio of 1.55 (95% CI 1.23–1.96) for rapid decline compared with the highest quartile. These associations persisted after adjusting the albumin models for CRP, IL-6 and fibrinogen.
Conclusions. In contrast to nine other inflammatory and procoagulant markers, only lower baseline levels of serum albumin were consistently associated with a rapid decline in kidney function, as measured by cystatin C-based eGFR.
cystatin C; inflammation; inflammatory biomarkers; kidney