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1.  Evaluating the Framingham Hypertension Risk Prediction Model in Young Adults: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study 
Hypertension  2013;62(6):1015-1020.
A prediction model was developed in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) to evaluate short-term risk of hypertension. Our goal was to determine the predictive ability of the FHS hypertension model in a cohort of young adults advancing into middle age and compare it with the predictive ability of prehypertension, and individual components of the FHS model. We studied 4,388 participants, age 18-30 years without hypertension at baseline, enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study who participated in 2 consecutive exams occurring 5 years apart between the baseline (1985-1986) and Year 25 examination (2010-2011). Weibull regression was used to assess the association of the FHS model overall, individual components of the FHS model, and prehypertension with incident hypertension. Over the 25 year follow-up period, 1179 participants developed incident hypertension. The FHS hypertension model (c-index=0.84, 95% CI=0.83, 0.85) performed well in discriminating those who did and did not develop hypertension and was better than prehypertension alone (c-index=0.71, 95% CI=0.70, 0.73). The predicted risk from the FHS hypertension model was systematically lower than the observed hypertension incidence initially (χ2= 249.4; p<0.001), but demonstrated a good fit after recalibration (χ2= 14.6; p=0.067). In summary, the FHS model performed better than prehypertension and may be a useful tool for identifying young adults with a high risk for developing hypertension.
PMCID: PMC4019674  PMID: 24041951
hypertension; prehypertension; epidemiology; risk
2.  A Novel Modular Bioreactor to In Vitro Study the Hepatic Sinusoid 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e111864.
We describe a unique, versatile bioreactor consisting of two plates and a modified commercial porous membrane suitable for in vitro analysis of the liver sinusoid. The modular bioreactor allows i) excellent control of the cell seeding process; ii) cell culture under controlled shear stress stimulus, and; iii) individual analysis of each cell type upon completion of the experiment. The advantages of the bioreactor detailed here are derived from the modification of a commercial porous membrane with an elastomeric wall specifically moulded in order to define the cell culture area, to act as a gasket that will fit into the bioreactor, and to provide improved mechanical robustness. The device presented herein has been designed to simulate the in vivo organization of a liver sinusoid and tested by co-culturing endothelial cells (EC) and hepatic stellate cells (HSC). The results show both an optimal morphology of the endothelial cells as well as an improvement in the phenotype of stellate cells, most probably due to paracrine factors released from endothelial cells. This device is proposed as a versatile, easy-to-use co-culture system that can be applied to biomedical research of vascular systems, including the liver.
PMCID: PMC4222955  PMID: 25375141
3.  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
4.  Influence of Urine Creatinine Concentrations on the Relation of Albumin-Creatinine Ratio With Cardiovascular Disease Events: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Higher urine albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR) is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, an association that is stronger than that between spot urine albumin on its own and CVD. Urine creatinine is correlated with muscle mass, and low muscle mass is also associated with CVD. Whether low urine creatinine in the denominator of the ACR contributes to the association of ACR with CVD is uncertain.
Study Design
Prospective cohort study.
Setting & Participants
6,770 community-living individuals without CVD.
Spot urine albumin, the reciprocal of the urine creatinine concentration (1/UCr), and ACR.
Incident CVD events.
During a mean of 7.1 years’ follow-up, 281 CVD events occurred. Geometric means for spot urine creatinine, urine albumin and ACR were 95 ± 2 (SD) mg/dl, 0.7 ± 3.7 mg/dl and 7.0 ± 3.1 mg/g. Adjusted HRs per 2-fold higher increment in each urinary measures with CVD events were similar (1/UCr: 1.07 [95% CI, 0.94-1.22]; urine albumin: 1.08 [95% CI, 1.01-1.14]; and ACR: 1.11 [95% CI, 1.04-1.18]). Urine creatinine was lower in older, female, and low weight individuals. ACR ≥10 mg/g was more strongly associated with CVD events in individuals with low weight (HR for lowest vs. highest tertile: 4.34 vs. 1.97; p for interaction=0.006). Low weight also modified the association of urine albumin with CVD (p for interaction=0.06), but 1/urine creatinine did not (p for interaction=0.9).
We lacked 24-hour urine data.
While ACR is more strongly associated with CVD events among persons with low body weight, this association is not driven by differences in spot urine creatinine. Overall, the associations of ACR with CVD events appear to be driven primarily by urine albumin and less by urine creatinine.
PMCID: PMC3783582  PMID: 23830183
5.  Association of segmental wall motion abnormalities occurring during hemodialysis with post-dialysis fatigue 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2013;28(10):2580-2585.
Dubin et al. in this issue of NDT suggests that severe postdialysis fatigue (PDF) could be a clinical manifestation of cardiac ischemia occurring during dialysis.
Post-dialysis fatigue (PDF) is a common, debilitating symptom that remains poorly understood. Cardiac wall motion abnormalities (WMAs) may worsen during dialysis, but it is unknown whether WMA are associated with PDF.
Forty patients were recruited from University of California San Francisco-affiliated dialysis units between January 2010 and February 2011. Participants underwent echocardiograms before and during the last hour of 79 dialysis sessions. Myocardial segments were graded 1–4 by a blinded reviewer, with four representing the worst WMA, and the segmental scores were summed for each echocardiogram. Patients completed questionnaires about their symptoms. Severe PDF (defined as lasting >2 h after dialysis) was analysed using a generalized linear model with candidate predictors including anemia, intradialytic hemodynamics and cardiac function.
Forty-four percent of patients with worsened WMA (n=9) had severe PDF, compared with 13% of patients with improved or unchanged WMA (P = 0.04). A one-point increase in the WMA score during dialysis was associated with a 10% higher RR of severe PDF [RR: 1.1, 95% CI (1.1, 1.2), P < 0.001]. After multivariable adjustment, every point increase in the WMA score was associated with a 2-fold higher risk of severe PDF [RR: 1.9, 95% CI (1.4, 2.6), P < 0.001]. History of depression was associated with severe PDF after adjustment for demographics and comorbidities [RR: 3.4, 95% CI (1.3, 9), P = 0.01], but anemia, hemodynamics and other parameters of cardiac function were not.
Although cross-sectional, these results suggest that some patients may experience severe PDF as a symptom of cardiac ischemia occurring during dialysis.
PMCID: PMC3888101  PMID: 23743019
end-stage renal disease; hemodialysis; post-dialysis fatigue
6.  Association of Obesity and Kidney Function Decline among Non-Diabetic Adults with eGFR > 60 ml/min/1.73m2: Results from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Obesity is associated with higher end-stage renal disease incidence, but associations with earlier forms of kidney disease remain incompletely characterized.
We studied the association of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) with rapid kidney function decline and incident chronic kidney disease in 4573 non-diabetic adults with eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73m2 at baseline from longitudinal Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis cohort. Kidney function was estimated by creatinine and cystatin C. Multivariate analysis was adjusted for age, race, baseline eGFR, and hypertension.
Mean age was 60 years old, BMI 28 kg/m2, baseline eGFRCr 82 and eGFRCys 95 ml/min/1.73m2. Over 5 years of follow up, 25% experienced rapid decline in renal function by eGFRCr and 22% by eGFRCys. Incident chronic kidney disease (CKD) developed in 3.3% by eGFRCys, 11% by eGFRCr, and 2.4% by both makers. Compared to persons with BMI < 25, overweight (BMI 25 – 30) persons had the lowest risk of rapid decline by eGFRCr (0.84, 0.71 – 0.99). In contrast, higher BMI categories were associated with stepwise higher odds of rapid decline by eGFRCys, but remained significant only when BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 (1.87, 1.41 – 2.48). Associations of BMI with incident CKD were insignificant after adjustment. Large WC and WHR were associated with increased risk of rapid decline only by eGFRCys, and of incident CKD only when defined by both filtration markers.
Obesity may be a risk factor for kidney function decline, but associations vary by filtration marker used.
PMCID: PMC4157691  PMID: 25210651
Kidney Function Decline; MESA; Obesity; Waist Circumference; Waist-to-Hip Ratio
7.  Parathyroid hormone and arterial dysfunction in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Clinical endocrinology  2013;79(3):429-436.
High circulating concentrations of parathyroid hormone (PTH) have been associated with increased risks of hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy, congestive heart failure, and cardiovascular mortality. Impaired arterial function is a potential mechanism for these associations. We tested whether serum PTH concentration is associated with measures of arterial function.
Cross-sectional study.
6,545 persons without clinical cardiovascular disease participating in the community-based Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation as well as aortic pulse pressure and arterial pulse parameters derived from Windkessel modeling of the radial pressure waveform.
Higher serum PTH concentration was associated with lower brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (mean difference −0.09% per 10 pg/mL PTH), higher aortic pulse pressure (0.53 mmHg per 10 pg/mL), and reduced Windkessel capacitive index C1 (large artery elasticity, −0.12 ml/mmHg X 10 per 10 pg/mL), adjusting for potential confounding variables (all p-values ≤ 0.001). These relationships were independent of serum calcium concentration, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration, and estimated glomerular filtration rate and were consistent across relevant participant subgroups. Associations of PTH with aortic pulse pressure and capacitive index C1 were attenuated after adjustment for blood pressure. Serum PTH concentration was not associated with the oscillatory index C2 (small artery elasticity).
Higher serum PTH concentration was associated with impaired endothelial function, increased aortic pulse pressure, and decreased capacitive index C1 in a large, diverse, community-based population. These relationships may help explain previously observed associations of elevated PTH with cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC3664253  PMID: 23402353
parathyroid hormone; calcium; vitamin D; arterial function; epidemiology
8.  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
9.  Trajectories of Kidney Function Decline in Young Black and White Adults With Preserved GFR: Results From the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study 
Strong racial discrepancies in end-stage renal disease exist. Whether there are race differences in kidney function loss in younger, healthy persons is not well established.
Study Design
Setting & Participants
3348 Black and White adults with at least two measures of cystatin C-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFRcys) at scheduled Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) examinations (Years 10, 15, 20).
Outcomes & Measurements
We used linear mixed models (LMM) to examine race differences in annualized rates of eGFRcys decline, adjusting for age, sex, lifetime exposure to systolic blood pressure above 120mmHg, diabetes, and albumin-creatinine ratio. We used Poisson regression to compare racial differences in rapid decline (eGFRcys decline >3% per year) by study period (10–15 years after baseline exam defining period 1 and >15–20 years after baseline exam defining period 2).
Mean age was 35 ± 3.6 (SD) years, mean eGFRcys was 110 ± 20 ml/min/1.73m2 for Blacks and 104 ± 17 ml/min/1.73m2 for Whites at baseline. For both Blacks and Whites, eGFRcys decline was minimal at younger ages (<35 years) and eGFRcys loss accelerated at older ages. However, acceleration of eGFRcys decline occurred at earlier ages for Blacks than Whites. Blacks had somewhat faster annualized rates of decline compared with whites, but differences were attenuated after adjustment in period 1 (0.13 ml/min/1.73m2 per year faster; p=0.2). In contrast, during period 2, Blacks had significantly faster annualized rates of decline, even after adjustment (0.32 ml/min/1.73m2 per year faster; p=0.003). Prevalence of rapid decline was significantly higher among Blacks vs. Whites with prevalence rate ratios of 1.31 (95% CI, 1.04–1.63) for period 1 and 1.24 (95% CI, 1.09–1.41) for period 2. Differences were attenuated after full adjustment: adjusted prevalence rate ratios were 1.20 (95% CI, 0.95–1.49) for period 1 and 1.10 (95% CI, 0.96–1.26) for period 2.
No measured GFR.
eGFRcys decline differs by race at early ages, with faster annualized rates of decline among blacks. Future studies are required to explain observed differences.
PMCID: PMC3714331  PMID: 23473985
10.  Blood Pressure Components and Decline in Kidney Function in Community-Living Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study 
American Journal of Hypertension  2013;26(8):1037-1044.
Although hypertension contributes to kidney dysfunction in the general population, the contributions of elevated systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and pulse pressure (PP) to kidney function decline in community-dwelling older adults are unknown.
We used linear and logistic regression to examine the separate and combined associations of SBP, DBP, and PP at baseline with kidney function decline among 4,365 older adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study. We used cystatin C to estimate glomerular filtration rate on 3 occasions over 7 years of follow-up. We defined rapid decline ≥ 3ml/min/year.
Average age was 72.2 and mean (standard deviation) SBP, DBP, and PP were 135 (21), 71 (11), and 65 (18) mm Hg, respectively. SBP and PP, rather than DBP, were most significantly associated with kidney function decline. In adjusted linear models, each 10-mm Hg increment in SBP and PP was associated with 0.13ml/min/year (–0.19, –0.08, P < 0.001) and 0.15-ml/min/year faster decline (–0.21, –0.09, P < 0.001), respectively. Each 10-mm Hg increment in DBP was associated with a nonsignificant 0.10-ml/min/year faster decline (95% confidence interval, –0.20, 0.01). In adjusted logistic models, SBP had the strongest associations with rapid decline, with 14% increased hazard of rapid decline (95% confidence interval, 10% to 17%, P < 0.01) per 10mm Hg. In models combining BP components, only SBP consistently had independent associations with rapid decline.
Our findings suggest that elevated BP, particularly SBP, contributes to declining kidney function in older adults.
PMCID: PMC3816322  PMID: 23709568
blood pressure; cystatin C; diastolic blood pressure; elderly; hypertension; kidney function; systolic blood pressure.
11.  Estimated Kidney Function Based on Serum Cystatin C and Risk of Subsequent Coronary Artery Calcium in Young and Middle-aged Adults With Preserved Kidney Function: Results From the CARDIA Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(3):410-417.
Whether kidney dysfunction is associated with coronary artery calcium (CAC) in young and middle-aged adults who have a cystatin C–derived estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFRcys) greater than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 is unknown. In the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort (recruited in 1985 and 1986 in Birmingham, Alabama; Chicago, Illinois; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Oakland, California), we examined 1) the association of eGFRcys at years 10 and 15 and detectable CAC over the subsequent 5 years and 2) the association of change in eGFRcys and subsequent CAC, comparing those with stable eGFRcys to those whose eGFRcys increased (>3% annually over 5 years), declined moderately (3%–5%), or declined rapidly (>5%). Generalized estimating equation Poisson models were used, with adjustment for age, sex, race, educational level, income, family history of coronary artery disease, diabetes, body mass index, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and tobacco use. Among 3,070 participants (mean age 35.6 (standard deviation, 4.1) years and mean eGFRcys 106.7 (standard deviation, 18.5) mL/min/1.73 m2), 529 had detectable CAC. Baseline eGFRcys was not associated with CAC. Moderate eGFRcys decline was associated with a 33% greater relative risk of subsequent CAC (95% confidence interval: 5, 68; P = 0.02), whereas rapid decline was associated with a 51% higher relative risk (95% confidence interval: 10, 208; P = 0.01) in adjusted models. In conclusion, among young and middle-aged adults with eGFRcys greater than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, annual decline in eGFRcys is an independent risk factor for subsequent CAC.
PMCID: PMC3816347  PMID: 23813702
calcification; cardiovascular diseases; chronic kidney insufficiency; coronary arteries; coronary disease; cystatin C; glomerular filtration rate; kidney
12.  Risk Factors for ESRD in Individuals With Preserved Estimated GFR With and Without Albuminuria: Results From the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Given the increasing costs and poor outcomes of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), we sought to identify risk factors for ESRD in people with preserved estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), with or without albuminuria, who were at high risk of ESRD.
This cohort study included participants in the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) with eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 at baseline stratified by the presence or absence of albuminuria. The Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation was used to calculate eGFR. Urine was tested for albuminuria by semiquantitative dipstick. The outcome was the development of treated chronic kidney failure, defined as initiation of maintenance dialysis therapy or kidney transplantation, determined by linkage to the US Renal Data System. We used a Cox model with the Fine-Gray method to assess risk factors for treated chronic kidney failure while accounting for the competing risk of death.
During a median follow-up of 4.8 years, 126 of 13,923 participants with albuminuria (16/10,000 patient-years) and 56 of 109,135 participants without albuminuria (1.1/10,000 patient-years) developed treated chronic kidney failure. Diabetes was a strong risk factor for developing treated chronic kidney failure in participants with and without albuminuria (adjusted HRs of 9.3 [95% CI, 5.7–15.3] and 7.8 [95% CI, 4.1–14.8], respectively). Black race, lower eGFR, and higher systolic blood pressure also were associated with higher adjusted risks of developing treated chronic kidney failure.
In a diverse high-risk cohort of KEEP participants with preserved eGFR, we showed that diabetes, higher systolic blood pressure, lower eGFR, and black race were risk factors for developing treated chronic kidney failure irrespective of albuminuria status, although the absolute risk of kidney failure in participants without albuminuria was very low. Our findings support testing for kidney disease in high-risk populations, which often have otherwise unrecognized kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC4117734  PMID: 23507268
Albuminuria; blood pressure; chronic kidney disease; diabetes; dialysis risk factors; end-stage renal disease; public health
13.  No independent association of serum phosphorus with risk for death or progression to end-stage renal disease in a large screen for chronic kidney disease 
Kidney international  2013;84(5):989-997.
Whether higher serum phosphorus levels are associated with a higher risk for death and/or progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is not well established, and whether the association is confounded by access and barriers to care is unknown. To answer these questions, data of 10,672 individuals identified to have CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2) from those participating in a community-based screening program were analyzed. Over a median follow-up of 2.3 years, there was no association between quartiles of serum phosphorus and all-cause mortality (adjusted hazards ratio for serum phosphorus over 3.3 to 3.7, over 3.7 to 4.1, and over 4.1 mg/dl, respectively: 1.22 (0.95–1.56), 1.00 (0.76–1.32), and 1.00 (0.75–1.33); reference, serum phosphorus of 3.3 mg/dl and below). Individuals in the highest quartile for serum phosphorus had a significantly higher risk for progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (unadjusted hazards ratio, 6.72 (4.16–10.85)); however, the risk became nonsignificant on adjustment for potential confounders. There was no appreciable change in hazards ratio with inclusion of variables related to access and barriers to care. Additional analyses in subgroups based on 12 different variables yielded similar negative associations. Thus, in the largest cohort of individuals with early-stage CKD to date, we could not validate an independent association of serum phosphorus with risk for death or progression to ESRD.
PMCID: PMC4103660  PMID: 23615501
barrier to care; cardiovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; end-stage renal disease; mortality; phosphorus
14.  Genetic ancestry and lower extremity peripheral artery disease in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Using self-report of race/ethnicity, African Americans consistently have a higher prevalence of peripheral artery disease (PAD) compared to other ethnic groups. We aimed to determine the associations between estimated genetic admixture and PAD among African and Hispanic Americans. We studied the association between genetic ancestry and PAD among 1417 African and Hispanic American participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis who were genotyped for ancestry informative markers (AIMs). PAD was defined as an ankle–brachial index (ABI) < 0.90. The overall prevalence of PAD among the 712 self-identified African American subjects was 15.2% and 4.6% among the 705 self-identified Hispanic Americans. A one standard deviation increment in European ancestry was associated with non-significant reductions in the odds for PAD among African (OR: 0.96 [95% CI: 0.78–1.18]) and Hispanic Americans (0.84 [0.58–1.23]), while the same increment in Native American ancestry was significantly associated with a lower odds of PAD in Hispanic Americans (0.56 [0.36–0.96]). Adjustment for demographic variables, field center, cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and inflammatory markers strengthened the odds for European ancestry among African (0.85 [0.66–1.10]) and Hispanic Americans (0.68 [0.41–1.11]). The magnitude of the association for Native American ancestry among Hispanic Americans did not materially change (0.56 [0.29–1.09]). In conclusion, a higher percent Native American ancestry in Hispanics is associated with a lower odds of PAD while in both Hispanics and African Americans, greater European ancestry does not appear to be associated with lower odds for PAD.
PMCID: PMC4077267  PMID: 20926494
epidemiology; genetics; peripheral artery disease
15.  Role of Soluble Endothelial Cell–Selective Adhesion Molecule Biomarker in Albuminuria and Kidney Function Changes in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease 
Endothelial dysfunction is a possible mechanism to explain the association between atherosclerosis and kidney disease. This study evaluated circulating soluble endothelial cell–selective adhesion molecule (sESAM), a marker of endothelial dysfunction, as a risk factor for kidney function decline and albuminuria.
Approach and Results
In the Heart and Soul Study, we measured sESAM from baseline serum samples and defined elevated levels of sESAM by the highest quartile (quartile 4 [Q4]: >65.4 ng/mL). We evaluated the associations of high sESAM with baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and ratio of urine albumin to creatinine (ACR), and with longitudinal changes in eGFR and ACR. Among 990 participants with sESAM measurements, median sESAM was 54.5 ng/mL (interquartile range, 45.3–65.8). After multivariable adjustment, elevated levels of sESAM were strongly and independently associated with baseline reduced eGFR <60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 (odds ratio [OR], 11.44; P<0.0001) and ACR ≥30 mg/g (OR, 5.23; P<0.0001). Associations of sESAM (Q4 versus quartile 1 [Q1]) with change in ACR (β=54.47; P<0.0001) were also significant after full adjustment. The association with change in eGFR (1.56%; P=0.0049) was not statistically significant after application of the Bonferroni correction for multiple markers. In unadjusted models, sESAM was associated with rapid kidney function loss, defined as 3% annual eGFR decline (OR, 2.28; P=0.0003), although this was attenuated by adjustment (OR, 2.11; P=0.0095).
sESAM is associated with albuminuria and reduced kidney function in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. These findings implicate endothelial dysfunction as a potential contributor to the elevated kidney disease risk in persons with cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC4059045  PMID: 24177327
albuminuria; atherosclerosis; kidney diseases
16.  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
17.  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
18.  Association of Chronic Kidney Disease Detected by Creatinine and Cystatin C with Death and Cardiovascular Events among Elderly Mexican-Americans: The Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging (SALSA) 
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is diagnosed by serum creatinine, which is biased by muscle mass, age and race. We evaluated whether cystatin C, an alternative measure of kidney function, can detect high risk CKD among elderly Mexican-Americans.
Sacramento Area Study of Latinos (SALSA)
1,435 Mexican-Americans ages 60–101 with mean follow-up 6.8 years
We estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, ml/min/1.73m2)by creatinine and cystatin C, and classified persons into four mutually exclusive categories: (1) CKD neither (eGFRcreat ≥60 and eGFRcys ≥60); (2) CKD creatinine only (eGFRcreat <60 but eGFRcys ≥60); (3) CKD cystatin only (eGFRcreat ≥60 but eGFRcys <60); and (4) CKD both (eGFRcreat <60 and eGFRcys <60). We studied the association of each CKD classification with all-cause death and cardiovascular (CVD) death using Cox regression.
At baseline, mean was age 71±7; 34% (N=481) were diabetic and 68% (N=980) hypertensive. Compared with persons with no CKD by either marker, persons with CKD both had the highest risks for death (HR 2.30, 1.78–2.98) and CVD death (HR 2.75, 1.96–3.86) after full adjustment. Persons with CKD by cystatin C only were also at increased risk for death, HR 1.91 (1.37–2.67) and for CVD death, HR 2.56 (1.64–3.99)) compared to no CKD. In contrast, persons with CKD by creatinine only were not at increased risk for CVD death (HR 1.39, 0.71–2.72), but remained at higher risk for all-cause death (HR 1.95, 1.27–2.98).
Cystatin C may be a useful alternative in addition to creatinine to detect high risk CKD in elderly Mexican Americans.
PMCID: PMC3545054  PMID: 23252993
chronic kidney disease; Mexican-Americans; elderly; creatinine; cystatin C; cardiovascular disease
19.  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
20.  Associations of Urinary Levels of Kidney Injury Molecule-1 (KIM-1) and Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin (NGAL) With Kidney Function Decline in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Whether elevations of urinary biomarkers of tubular injury (urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1)) are associated with future risk of kidney disease has not been investigated.
Study Design
1:1 nested case-control study
Setting & Participants
686 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
NGAL and KIM-1 were measured at baseline and expressed as log-transformed continuous variables and categorized into deciles.
Kidney function was estimated by cystatin C using the CKD-EPI (Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration) equation. Incident CKD Stage 3 was defined as eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73m2 and a eGFR decline >1 ml/min/1.73m2 per year, and rapid kidney function decline (RKFD) was defined as decline of ≥3 ml/min/1.73m2 per year.
Cases were defined as persons with eGFR >60 ml/min/1.73m2 who subsequently developed incident CKD Stage 3 and/or had RKFD by MESA year 5 visit. Controls were matched for age, gender, race, diabetes, and baseline eGFR. We adjusted for age, hypertension and presence of albuminuria (ACR ≥30 mg/g).
Of the 343 cases, 145 had incident CKD Stage 3, 141 had RKFD and 57 had both. Mean eGFR for controls was 81 (±10) ml/min/1.73m2 at baseline and 80 (±10) at follow-up, compared with 82 (±13) and 58 (±10) for cases. Each doubling of KIM-1 (pg/ml) was associated with an OR of 1.15 (95% CI, 1.02-1.29) for incident CKD Stage 3 and/or RKFD. Compared to the lowest 90%, the highest decile of KIM-1 was associated with an OR of 2.02 (95% CI, 1.15-3.56) for the outcome; these associations were independent of albuminuria. NGAL levels (ng/ml) were not associated with incident CKD Stage 3 and/or RKFD (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.99-1.10). Results were similar when KIM-1 and NGAL were standardized for urine creatinine.
The case-control design limits ability to account for persons who died or were not available for follow-up.
Urinary KIM-1 is associated with future risk of kidney disease independent of albuminuria. Urinary biomarkers of tubular injury are a promising tool for identifying persons at risk for CKD.
PMCID: PMC3690926  PMID: 22749388
KIM-1; NGAL; kidney function decline
21.  Associations of Socioeconomic Status and Processed Food Intake with Serum Phosphorus in Community-Living Adults: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Higher serum phosphorus concentrations are associated with cardiovascular disease events and mortality. Low socioeconomic status is linked with higher serum phosphorus, but the reasons are unclear. Poor individuals disproportionately consume inexpensive processed foods commonly enriched with phosphorus-based food preservatives. Accordingly, we hypothesized that excess intake of these foods accounts for a relationship between lower socioeconomic status and higher serum phosphorus.
Cross-sectional analysis.
Setting and Participants
We examined a random cohort of 2,664 participants with available phosphorus measurements in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a community-based sample of individuals free of clinically apparent cardiovascular disease from across the United States.
Predictor Variables
Socioeconomic status, the intake of foods commonly enriched with phosphorus additives (processed meats, sodas) and frequency of fast food consumption.
Fasting morning serum phosphorus concentrations.
In unadjusted analyses, lower income and lower educational achievement categories were associated with modestly higher serum phosphorus (by 0.02 to 0.10 mg/dL, P < 0.05 for all). These associations were attenuated in models adjusted for demographic and clinical factors, almost entirely due to adjustment for female gender. There were no statistically significant associations of processed meat intake or frequency of fast-food consumption with serum phosphorus in multivariable-adjusted analyses. In contrast, each serving per day higher soda intake was associated with 0.02 mg/dl lower serum phosphorus (95% confidence interval, −0.04, −0.01).
Greater intake of foods commonly enriched with phosphorus additives was not associated with higher serum phosphorus in a community-living sample with largely preserved kidney function. These results suggest that excess intake of processed and fast foods may not impact fasting serum phosphorus concentrations among individuals without kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC3321388  PMID: 22217539
phosphorus; socioeconomic status; nutrition
22.  The Association of Blood Pressure and Mortality Differs by Self-reported Walking Speed in Older Latinos 
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.
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3436088  PMID: 22389463
Blood pressure; Functional status; Latinos
23.  Inflammation and Coagulation Markers and Kidney Function Decline: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
The strength and direction of the associations between inflammation and coagulation biomarkers with kidney disease onset and progression remains unclear, especially in a population-based setting.
Study Design
Prospective observational study.
Setting & Participants
4,966 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) with a cystatin C-based estimate of glomerular filtration rate (eGFRcys) > 60 ml/min/1.73m2 and least one follow-up measure of kidney function. All participants were free of cardiovascular disease (CVD) at entry.
We evaluated the associations of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), fibrinogen, factor VIII, and D-dimer with kidney function decline.
Outcomes and Measurements
Kidney function decline was assessed primarily by repeated measures of eGFRcys over 5 years. Rapid decline of kidney function was defined as an eGFR decrease of more than 3 ml/min/1.73m2 per year. Incident low eGFR was defined as the onset of eGFRcys<60 ml/min/1.73m2 at any follow up exam and eGFRcys decline ≥1 ml/min/1.73m2 per year.
Mean age was 60 years, 39% were white, 52% were women, and 11% had diabetes. Mean eGFRcys was 96 mL/min/1.73 m2 and 7% had albuminuria. Median follow up time was 4.77 years. Higher Factor VIII levels (per 1-standard deviation [SD] of biomarker) had the strongest association with kidney function decline (β= −0.25; 95% CI, −0.38 to −0.12; p<0.001), followed by IL-6 (β= −0.16; 95% CI, −0.29 to −0.03; p=0.01), CRP (β= −0.09; 95% CI, −0.22 to 0.03; p=0.1), and fibrinogen (β= −0.09; 95% CI, −0.22 to 0.04; p=0.2). Each 1-SD higher concentration of IL-6 (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.07–1.23), Factor VIII (OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.03–1.18), and CRP (OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.02–1.16) at baseline was significantly associated with rapid kidney function decline. Only IL-6 was significantly associated with incident low eGFR (OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.00–1.19).
Observational study design and absence of measured GFR.
Inflammation and coagulation biomarkers are associated with declining kidney function in ambulatory adults without established CVD or CKD.
PMCID: PMC3745301  PMID: 22560844
24.  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.
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.
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.
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).
Walking speed could be a simple measure to identify elderly adults who are most at risk for adverse outcomes related to high BP.
PMCID: PMC3537835  PMID: 22801930
25.  Occult chronic kidney disease among persons with hypertension in the United States: data from the national health and nutrition surveys 1988–1994 and 1999–2002 
Journal of hypertension  2013;31(6):1196-1202.
Hypertension guidelines recommend screening for chronic kidney disease (CKD) using serum creatinine and urine dipstick; this strategy may lead to misclassification. Persons with occult CKD [i.e. missed by creatinine but detected by cystatin C or albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR)] have higher risks for death, cardiovascular events, and end-stage renal disease.
We studied occult CKD prevalence among nondiabetic, hypertensive adults in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1988–1994 (N = 2088) and 1999–2002 (N = 737). We defined occult CKD as estimated glomerular filtration rate by cystatin C (eGFRcys) less than 60 ml/min per 1.73m2 and/or ACR at least 30 mg/g among persons with eGFRcreat more than 60 ml/min per 1.73m2. We studied occult CKD prevalence by either marker, stratified by age, race/ethnicity, and assessed clinical predictors associated with occult CKD presence.
In 1988–1994, occult CKD was prevalent among 25% of nondiabetic hypertensive persons, and it was 22% in 1999–2002. Each marker’s ability to detect occult CKD varied by age and race. Cystatin C detected occult CKD among 8.9% of persons more than 65 years, and among 3.8% of whites. ACR detected occult CKD among 9.3% of persons less than 45 years, 16.6% of Blacks, and 20.6% of Mexican–Americans. In multivariate models, each decade of advancing age was associated with a higher occult CKD prevalence by cystatin C (OR 3.1, 95% CI 2.5–3.8) in 1988–1994 and 1999–2002 (OR 2.9, 1.8–4.6).
Current hypertension guidelines may fail to detect a large proportion of high-risk individuals with CKD who can be identified by cystatin C or ACR. Future studies are needed to evaluate targeted use of multimarker renal panels among hypertensives.
PMCID: PMC3733337  PMID: 23640605
albumin-to-creatinine ratio; chronic kidney disease; cystatin C; National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

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